Find out what stage 2 melanoma skin cancer means and about treatment options.
Stage 2 is part of the number staging system. The melanoma is only in the skin and there is no sign that it has spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body.
Stage 2 is divided into 2A, 2B and 2C.
Stage 2A means one of the following:
- the melanoma is between 1 and 2 mm thick and is ulcerated
- it is between 2 and 4mm and is not ulcerated
Stage 2B means one of the following:
- the melanoma is between 2 and 4mm thick and is ulcerated
- it is thicker than 4mm and is not ulcerated
Stage 2C means the melanoma is thicker than 4mm and is ulcerated
The TNM staging system stands for Tumour, Node, Metastasis.
- T describes the size of the tumour
- N describes whether there are any cancer cells in the lymph nodes
- M describes whether the cancer has spread to a different part of the body
In the TNM staging system stage 2A is the same as one of the following:
- T2b, N0, M0
- T3a, N0, M0
Stage 2B is the same as one of the following:
- T3b, N0, M0
- T4a, N0, M0
Stage 2C is the same as T4b, N0, M0
The stage of your cancer helps your doctor to decide what treatment you need. Treatment also depends on:
- where the cancer is
- other health conditions
Surgery is the main treatment. Doctors remove the abnormal mole and a small area of surrounding skin. You usually have a second operation to remove a larger area of healthy tissue around where the melanoma was. This is called a wide local excision.
Your doctor might offer you a test to check your lymph nodes. You can choose whether to have this test. The test is called a sentinel lymph node biopsy and you usually have it under a general anaesthetic.