What Is Melanoma?

A microscopic image of melanoma

Melanoma in blacks

Each year in the United States, more than 53,600 people learn they have melanoma. This number has more than doubled in the past 30 years.

But what is melanoma?

Let’s start with a basic explanation of how your skin functions:

The Skin

The skin is the body’s largest organ. It protects against heat, sunlight, injury, and infection. It helps regulate body temperature, stores water and fat, and produces vitamin D.