¿¿¿ Melanoma is by far the deadliest form of skin cancer-and one of the deadliest forms of cancer, period. Each year, some 7,500 patients die from it. Even more disturbing is the rate at which the risk is escalating, particularly for aging men. "Deaths from melanoma are rising most rapidly of all in men over 65," says John Kirkwood, M.D., a world-famous melanoma researcher at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Melanoma, if caught early, has a cure rate of up to 87 percent. But once a tumor gets established and has moved into surrounding lymph nodes, it will kill up to 90 percent of its victims.