: a benign or malignant skin tumor containing dark pigment
: a tumor of high malignancy that starts in melanocytes of normal skin or moles and metastasizes rapidly and widely—called also malignant melanoma, melanocarcinoma, melanoepithelioma, melanosarcoma
Dark-coloured malignant tumour of skin cells that produce the protective skin-darkening pigment melanin. Melanomas are prone to metastasize (seecancer) 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.