Melanoma is a malignant skin tumor that involves the skin cells that produce pigment (melanin). The risk of melanoma increases with age, but frequently affects young, otherwise healthy people. Melanoma is the number one cause of cancer death in women aged 25 to 30.
Review Date 2/27/2018
Updated by: David L. Swanson, MD, Vice Chair of Medical Dermatology, Associate Professor of Dermatology, Mayo Medical School, Scottsdale, AZ. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.