Health Library

Health Library

Diagnosis and Staging of Melanoma

How is melanoma diagnosed?

Medical examinations and tests are used to determine if a suspicious area is melanoma skin cancer. In addition to a complete medical history, including family history, questions are asked about the mark on the skin, such as when you first noticed it, as well as if and how it has changed in size or appearance.

The suspected area, as well as the rest of your body is examined, noting the size, shape, color, texture, and if there is bleeding or scaling. A skin sample will probably be taken for a biopsy. The biopsy procedure used depends on the site and size of the affected area.

Types of biopsies

The different types of biopsies include the following:

What is staging?

When melanoma is found, more tests might need to be done to find out if the cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body. This is called staging, and is necessary before treatment for the cancer can begin.

What are the stages for melanoma?

The American Joint Committee on Cancer stages of melanoma are:

Always consult your doctor for more information regarding the staging of melanoma.

Diagnosis and Staging of Melanoma - WellSpan Health

Online Medical Reviewer: Alteri, Rick MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Stump-Sutliff, Kim, RN, MSN, AOCNS
© 2014 WellSpan Health. All Rights Reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

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