Pronunciation: (MEH-luh-NOH-muh)

A form of cancer that begins in melanocytes (cells that make the pigment melanin). It may begin in a mole (skin melanoma), but can also begin in other pigmented tissues, such as in the eye or in the intestines.

Source: NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

Caption: Anatomy of the skin, showing the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissue. Melanocytes are in the layer of basal cells at the deepest part of the epidermis.

Date last modified: 2008-10-17