Stage 0 Melanoma (in situ)

In Stage 0 melanoma, the malignant tumor is still confined to the upper layers of the skin (epidermis). This means that the cancer cells are only in the outer layer of the skin and have not grown any deeper. The term for this is in situ, which means “in place” in Latin. In Stage 0 melanoma there is no evidence the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes or to distant sites (metastasis).

Tis (tumor in situ)

Stage 0 (in situ)

Tis (tumor in situ)

Tumor is limited to the epidermis

No invasion of surrounding tissues or lymph nodes or distant sites

Risk: Very low

Stage 0 is defined as TisN0M0: 

  • Tis (Tumor in situ): cancer cells are found only in the outer layer of skin (epidermis) and have not grown into any other layers. The cancer cells have not shown signs of spreading
  • NO: means no evidence cancer has spread to the lymph nodes
  • MO: means melanoma has not spread to distant sites (metastasized)

Risk: Patients with Stage 0 melanoma are considered at very low risk for local recurrence or for regional and distant metastases. Keep in mind that the statistics shown for survival are averages; everyone’s cancer and survival rate is based on many factors and determined on an individual basis.

Learn about Stage 0 follow-up

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