Primary gastrointestinal melanoma
Type of disease: Rare conditions
Primary melanoma of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract refers to a melanoma starting in the stomach, intestines, salivary glands, mouth, esophagus, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, or rectum. Melanoma is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the melanocytes. Melanocytes are commonly found in the skin and are the cells that give the skin color. While it is not uncommon for melanomas to start in the skin and later spread to other parts of the body, melanomas originating in the gastrointestinal tract are rare. The most frequently reported site is in the esophagus and anorectum. Source: Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD), supported by ORDR-NCATS and NHGRI.