Once the cancer is found in your skin, it is necessary to determine its stage. In general, the stage of melanoma is determined according to its size and its extension – the spread of cancerous cells into lymph nodes or other parts of the body: lungs, brain, liver, bone, and spinal cord.
- Melanomain Situ – also called stage 0, melanoma in situ is the genesis of the cancer cells; your five-year survival chance is about 99.9%.
- Stage I – at this stage, the melanoma is invasive; although it is well localized, the cancer can spread to other areas of your body. Your five-year survival chance is less than 95%.
- Stage II – stage 2 is considered as a high risk melanoma; the cancer can spread into other areas of your body, and your 5-year survival rate is about 40-85%.
- Stage III – at stage 3, the cancer is more aggressive; the risk of regional metastasis increases. Your chance to survive 5 years after the diagnosis is estimated at 25-60%.
- Stage IV A – your survival chance has decreased considerably to 9-15%; the cancer is often associated with distant metastasis such as distant skin metastasis and lung metastasis
- Stage IV B – at this stage, the tumor has become more aggressive; the cancer has spread beyond your skin to other organs, such as lungs, liver and bone. Your five-year survival chance has decreased considerably.