Melanoma is a malignant skin tumor that involves the skin cells that produce pigment (melanin). The risk of melanoma increases with age, but frequently effects young, otherwise healthy people. Melanoma is an aggressive type of cancer that can spread very rapidly.
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.