Dark-coloured malignant tumour of skin cells that produce the protective skin-darkening pigment melanin. Melanomas are prone to metastasize (see cancer) and are associated with the highest death rate of any skin cancer. Removal, together with a collar of surrounding healthy skin, cures melanoma if done early. A common cause of melanoma is skin damage from sunlight. It is very rare in persons with dark skin.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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