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Melanoma/Skin Cancer Health Center

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Stages of Skin Cancer

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    Stage IV

    In stage IV, one of the following is true:

    • The tumor is any size and may have spread to the jaw, eye socket, or side of the skull. Cancer has spread to one lymph node on the same side of the body as the tumor and the affected node is larger than 3 centimeters but not larger than 6 centimeters, or cancer has spread to more than one lymph node on one or both sides of the body and the affected nodes are not larger than 6 centimeters; or
    • The tumor is any size and may have spread to the jaw, eye socket, skull, spine, or ribs. Cancer has spread to one lymph node that is larger than 6 centimeters; or
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      Stage IV nonmelanoma skin cancer (1). The tumor is any size. Cancer has spread to one lymph node that is larger than 3 centimeters but not larger than 6 centimeters and is on the same side of the body as the tumor; OR to more than one lymph node 6 centimeters or smaller on one or both sides of the body; OR to one lymph node that is larger than 6 centimeters.
    • The tumor is any size and has spread to the base of the skull, spine, or ribs. Cancer may have spread to the lymph nodes; or
    • Cancer has spread to other parts of the body, such as the lung.
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      Stage IV nonmelanoma skin cancer (2). The tumor is any size and has spread to the base of the skull, spine, ribs, lung, or other parts of the body.

    The following stages are used for nonmelanoma skin cancer on the eyelid:

    Stage 0 (Carcinoma in Situ)

    In stage 0, abnormal cells are found in the epidermis (topmost layer of the skin). These abnormal cells may become cancer and spread into nearby normal tissue. Stage 0 is also called carcinoma in situ.

    Stage I

    Stage I is divided into stages IA, IB, and IC.

    • Stage IA: The tumor is 5 millimeters or smaller and has not spread to the connective tissue of the eyelid or to the edge of the eyelid where the lashes are.
    • Stage IB: The tumor is larger than 5 millimeters but not larger than 10 millimeters or has spread to the connective tissue of the eyelid or to the edge of the eyelid where the lashes are.
    • Stage IC: The tumor is larger than 10 millimeters but not larger than 20 millimeters or has spread through the full thickness of the eyelid.
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