Stage II Melanoma
What do I need to know?
Stage II melanoma is broken down into Stage IIA, Stage IIB and Stage IIC:
Stage IIA - The tumor is either 1-2 millimeters thick and ulcerated, or 2-4 millimeters thick and not ulcerated. It has not spread to any lymph nodes or other organs.
Stage IIB - The tumor is either 2-4 millimeters thick and ulcerated, or more than 4 millimeters thick and not ulcerated. It has not spread to any lymph nodes or other organs.
Stage IIC - The tumor is more than 4 millimeters thick and is ulcerated. It has not spread to any lymph nodes or other organs. These are aggressive tumors that are more likely to spread.
Treating Stage II 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. A sentinel lymph node biopsy is recommended for Stage II melanomas. Additional, or adjuvant, treatment may be recommended after surgery for high-risk patients. 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.
Some people worry that doctors will be offended if they ask for a second opinion. However, most doctors welcome a second opinion and many health insurance companies will even pay for them. A second opinion may provide you with more information and, perhaps, a greater sense of control.