Cancer Treatment Centers of America

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Melanoma stages

Making an educated treatment decision begins with the stage, or progression, of the disease. The stage of melanoma is one of the most important factors in evaluating treatment options.

Our cancer doctors use a variety of diagnostic tests to evaluate melanoma and develop an individualized treatment plan. If you have been recently diagnosed, we will review your pathology to confirm you have received the correct diagnosis and staging information, and develop a personalized treatment plan. If you have a recurrence, we will perform comprehensive testing and identify a treatment approach that is suited to your needs.

Melanoma stages are assigned based on the size or thickness of the tumor, whether or not it has spread to the lymph nodes or other organs, and certain other characteristics, such as growth rate.

Video: Cancer Staging

Cancer Staging

Stage III melanoma

Stage III melanoma means the melanoma cancer cells have spread to nearby lymph nodes, but not to distant organs.

  • Stage IIIA: The cancer can be any size, without ulceration, but a small number of cancer cells which can only be seen under a microscope have been found in 1-3 nearby lymph nodes.
  • Stage IIIB: Melanomas at this stage can be any size but they are either ulcerated with cancer cells in 1-3 lymph nodes that can only be seen under a microscope OR they are not ulcerated but there are enough cancer cells in 1-3 nearby lymph nodes to make them visibly enlarged OR cancer cells can be found in nearby areas of the skin or lymphatic channels, but not in the lymph nodes.
  • Stage IIIC: Melanomas at this stage can be any thickness. If it is ulcerated, either 1-3 nearby lymph nodes are enlarged OR cancer cells can be found in the nearby skin or lymphatic channels. Other cancers at this stage may or may not be ulcerated, but cancer cells can be found in 4 or more nearby lymph nodes.

We're here to guide you through the cancer journey

We understand you may be feeling overwhelmed with questions and concerns about your type of cancer and what it all means. We're here to help guide you through the process.

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An accurate cancer diagnosis

accurate cancer diagnosis

Our team of cancer experts uses advanced, minimally invasive diagnostic technology to detect cancerous cells anywhere in the body.

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