Malignant Melanoma is a tumour originating in the epidermis pigment cells (called melanocytes), characterized by an increased malignancy risk and a high mortality rate. The genetic factor and the sun/UV radiation exposure are the main risk factors.
The disease especially affects middle-aged adults. Women are more frequently affected, but with a better prognosis.
The condition is more frequently encountered:
- in persons with a history of extensive sun exposure and sunburns, especially during childhood;
- in families with a history of malignant melanoma (5% of MM);
- in people with atypical nevi, phototype I, II;
- even though it may arise in pre-existing nevi, in 60% of the cases it occurs on the undamaged tegument.