Medical Definition of Cancer, melanoma

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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

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Reviewed on 12/4/2018

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