Learn how to Protect Your Skin What is Melanoma? The cells that produce pigment (color) in the skin are called melanocytes. Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that occurs when the melanocyte cells start growing out of control. May is Melanoma Month May is melanoma and skin cancer awareness month. Skin cancer is America’s most common cancer with over five million cases diagnosed annually. During Melanoma Awareness Month it is important to talk about ways to prevent skin cancer like covering the skin when outdoors for long periods of time, using sunscreen, and incorporating a healthy skin care routine.