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 1 millimeter thick, does not appear to be ulcerated and it has not spread to any lymph nodes or other organs.

Stage IB - The tumor is either less than 1 millimeter thick and ulcerated or 1-2 millimeters thick and not ulcerated. It has not spread to any 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!