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Skin cancer stages

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

Staging may depend on the type of cancer. For non-melanoma skin cancers that have a low likelihood of spreading, like basal cell or squamous cell carcinomas, the staging process may not be necessary. Melanomas are more likely to spread quickly, so the skin cancer staging process becomes a very useful tool when it comes time to plan for treatment:

  • Non-melanoma skin cancers: Basal cell carcinomas rarely spread and may not be staged. The chance that squamous cell carcinomas will spread is slightly higher and may be staged using the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) TNM System.
  • Melanoma: Melanomas are more aggressive and likely to spread. This type of skin cancer is usually staged by the AJCC TNM system or the Clark levels. Read more about the melanoma skin cancer stages.

Video: Cancer Staging

Cancer Staging

Stage IV skin cancer

Stage IV skin cancer means the cancer cells have spread beyond the skin and regional lymph nodes to distant organs such as the liver, lungs or brain or distant lymph nodes and areas of the skin.

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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Discuss treatment options with an Oncology Information Specialist, who is available 24/7 at (800) 615-3055, or chat with us.

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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