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Medical Definition of Cancer, malignant melanoma

Cancer, malignant melanoma: A skin cancer that begins in cells called melanocytes. Melanocytes can grow together to form benign (not cancerous) moles. A melanoma starts as a collection of cancerous melanocytes. A change in size, shape, or color of a mole can be a sign of melanoma. Melanoma can be cured if detected early, before spread (metastasis) to other areas of the body. Diagnosis is confirmed with a biopsy of the abnormal skin. Sun exposure can cause skin damage that can lead to melanoma.

Last Editorial Review: 9/20/2012

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