How is melanoma classified and staged?

Updated: Mar 08, 2019
  • Author: Jonathan B Heistein, MD; Chief Editor: Gregory Gary Caputy, MD, PhD, FICS  more...
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Answer

Answer

Two classification schemes have been developed, based on either the vertical thickness of the lesion in millimeters or the anatomic level of invasion of the layers of skin. The Breslow classification scheme is used almost exclusively now because it more accurately predicts future tumor behavior. The Clark level is now used only in the staging of thin (T1) melanomas. The TNM (tumor, node, metastasis) system is used for clinical staging as designated by the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) staging system. [15]


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