Melanoma staging is a crucial step in the diagnostic process. Staging allows oncologists to determine how far cancerous cells have spread and which treatments are most likely to be effective. At Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, we welcome individuals from Clearwater, Florida, and other nearby areas to undergo a comprehensive assessment with our skin cancer treatment team.
When staging melanoma, our oncologists take into consideration several factors, including the size of a tumor, how deep into the skin it has grown and whether the cancerous cells have spread to other parts of the body. Based on a comprehensive evaluation of a patient’s case, we will then assign the cancer one of the following stages:
- Stage 0 (precancerous) – The abnormal cells are limited to the top layer of the skin.
- Stage 1 – The tumor is small and has not spread very far, but it has grown into the lower layers of the skin. The skin may be ulcerated (displaying a broken or disintegrated texture).
- Stage 2 – The cancer has reached the lower layers of the skin, but has not spread outside of its original point of development.
- Stage 3 – The cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes.
- Stage 4 – The cancer has spread to distant parts of the body. Abnormal cells may be present in the liver, lungs, brain or other organs.
From there, our team uses the results of the melanoma staging process to make individualized treatment recommendations, such as surgery for early-stage tumors or chemotherapy for those that have spread throughout the body. Moffitt makes it possible for patients from the Clearwater, FL, area to access a comprehensive range of services – both diagnostic and therapeutic – under one roof.
To learn more about melanoma staging, call 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online. We perform melanoma staging for patients from Clearwater, FL, and other nearby areas with or without a physician’s referral.