Skin cancer staging

Stages and Treatment for Squamous and Basal Cell Skin Cancers

Stage 0. Cancer is only in the outermost layer of skin.

Stage 1. Cancer is not larger than 2 centimeters.

Has no or only one high-risk feature.

High-risk features include being thicker than 2 millimeters, growing down below the outer level of skin, growing into nerves, growing on the ear or lip, and looking abnormal under a microscope.

Stage 2. Cancer is larger than 2 centimeters, or any size if it has two or more high-risk features.

Stage 3. Cancer has spread to the bones of the face, or has spread to a close lymph node that is smaller than 3 centimeters.

Stage 4. Cancer has spread to bones outside the face or to distant parts of the body.

Nonmelanoma cancers have a high survival rate.

Treatment for stages 1 through are successful and are local therapies.

Local therapy includes:

Surgery to remove the cancer including laser surgery.

Microscopic surgical removal (Mohs surgery)

X-ray treatments


Scraping and burning with an electric needle

Photodynamic therapy.

Topical cancer drugs.

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