How is basal cell carcinoma staged?

Updated: Mar 23, 2021
  • Author: Robert S Bader, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Basal cell carcinoma rarely metastasizes and is usually not staged, unless the cancer is very large and is suspected of spreading to other parts of the body. BCC staging may be similar to the staging of squamous cell carcinoma, which is according to the following scheme:

  • Stage 0: Cancer involves only the epidermis and has not spread to the dermis

  • Stage I: Cancer is not large (ie, < 2 cm) and has not spread to the lymph nodes or other organs

  • Stage II: Cancer is large (ie, >2 cm) but has not spread to lymph nodes or other organs

  • Stage III: Cancer has spread to tissues beneath the skin (eg, muscle, bone, cartilage), and/or to regional lymph nodes but not to other organs.

  • Stage IV: Cancer can be any size and has spread to other organs

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