Stage I Melanoma

What do I need to know? 

Diagnosis

Stage I melanoma is broken down into Stage IA and Stage IB:

Stage IA - The tumor is less than 0.8 mm in thickness. The tumor does not appear to be ulcerated. There is no evidence the tumor has spread to lymph nodes or other organs.

Stage IB - The tumor is less than 0.8 mm in thickness, with ulceration, OR the tumor is 0.8–2 mm in thickness, without ulceration. There is no evidence the tumor has spread to lymph nodes or other organs.

Treating Stage I Melanoma

The tumor and some surrounding, healthy tissue should be removed surgically, usually by a wide excision. The removal of the healthy tissue helps ensure clear margins. Usually, no further treatment is necessary. However, a sentinel lymph node biopsy may be performed if the tumor is ulcerated or is equal to or deeper than 1 millimeter. Skin examination to evaluate for a new melanoma or other skin cancer should continue. Your dermatologist may recommend professional appointments every 3-6 months and self-skin exams at home should be performed every month.

Want to meet other Stage I patients? Visit the MRF's online patient forum!