Staging Melanoma
Stage II Melanoma

Stage II melanomas are localized tumors. This means the primary melanoma has not shown evidence of spread to nearby lymph nodes or distant sites. With treatment, Stage II disease is considered to be intermediate-risk for local recurrence or distant metastasis.

Stage II melanomas are defined by two primary characteristics.

  • Tumor thickness (known as Breslow depth): how deeply the tumor has penetrated the skin. Thickness is measured in millimeters (mm).

    • 1 mm = .04 inch, or less than 1/16 inch (about equal to the edge of a penny)
    • 2 mm = between 1/16 and 1/8 inch (about equal to the edge of a nickel)
    • 4 mm = between 1/8 and 1/4 inch (about equal to the edges of two nickels)

  • Ulceration: a condition in which the epidermis that covers a portion of the primary melanoma is not intact. Ulceration is determined by microscopic evaluation of the tissue by a pathologist, not by what can be seen with the naked eye.

In Stage II melanoma, the tumor has not spread to nearby lymph nodes or to distant organs or tissues.

Subclasses of Stage II Melanoma

Stage IIA (T2bN0M0 or T3aN0M0)

  • T2b: the tumor is 1.01-2.0 mm thick, with ulceration
  • T3a: the tumor is 2.01-4.0 mm thick, with no ulceration
  • N0: the tumor has not spread to nearby lymph nodes
  • M0: the tumor has not spread to sites distant from the primary tumor
Stage IIB (T3bN0M0 or T4aN0M0)
  • T3b: the tumor is 2.01-4.0 mm thick, with ulceration
  • T4a: the tumor is greater than 4.0 mm thick, with no ulceration
  • N0: the tumor has not spread to nearby lymph nodes
  • M0: the tumor has not spread to sites distant from the primary tumor
Stage IIC (T4bN0M0)
  • T4b: the tumor is greater than 4.0 mm thick, with ulceration
  • N0: the tumor has not spread to nearby lymph nodes
  • M0: the tumor has not spread to sites distant from the primary tumor
See also Stage II Treatment.