Navigation Links
Melanoma Rates Rising in U.S. Children

By Denise Mann
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- Melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, doesn't usually occur in kids, but a new study shows that it's happening more often.

While melanoma in children is still extremely rare, the rate increased by about 2 percent per year from 1973 to 2009 among U.S children from newborns to age 19. Melanoma accounts for up to 3 percent of all pediatric cancers, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.

According to the study, 1,317 children were diagnosed with melanoma during the study time frame. Of these, 1,230 children were white. Because the number of melanoma cases among other racial and ethnic groups was so small, researchers focused the analysis on white children.

The biggest jump in melanoma rates was seen among adolescents aged 15 to 19, especially girls, the study showed.

The new findings were published in the May print issue of Pediatrics.

Recent studies have also shown that melanoma is on the rise among adults as well. Exactly what is driving these trends is not fully understood, but increased exposure to ultraviolet radiation from both the sun and tanning booths as well as greater awareness of melanoma may be responsible, according to study authors led by Jeannette Wong of the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

The researchers used a database to capture trends in childhood melanoma, but they did not have any information on participants' tanning habits or sun exposure history.

Boys were more likely to develop melanomas on their face and trunks, while girls were more likely to have melanoma on their lower legs and hips, the investigators found. Other risks for melanoma among children and adults include fair skin, light-colored hair and eyes, moles, family history of melanoma and a history of sunburns.

Dr. Amy Forman Taub, a dermatologist in Lincolnshire, Ill., said that tanning behaviors have a lot to do with the increasing rates of melanoma in children and adults. "It's the tanning booths and the fact that we go away on vacation where we are exposed to a lot of intense sun," she said.

Genes may also play a role, suggested Taub, who was not involved in the new study.

Melanoma in kids looks pretty similar to melanoma in adults, Taub said. They have irregular borders, are asymmetrical -- if you cut them in half, you would not get two equal sides -- have uneven colors, and a diameter that is greater than 6 millimeters (about one-fifth of an inch). "Parents should be aware of any new or changing moles in their children," she advised.

Choosing a sunscreen that blocks both ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B rays and reapplying it frequently is important, she said. Sun-smart clothing can also help protect children.

Dr. Ana Duarte, director of pediatric dermatology at Miami Children's Hospital, agreed. "Early diagnosis of melanoma is beneficial," she said, and the importance of protection can't be overstated. "Sunscreen and or sun protection are so important for children," Duarte said, and whatever you do, "don't ignore changing moles, even in children, because melanoma can occur in kids."

Dr. Michele Green, a dermatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said the new study puts childhood melanoma on the radar, and that's a good thing.

"It is rare, but children do get melanoma," Green said. "When in doubt, get it checked out. The good news is that we know how to prevent melanoma, and when we catch it early, we have really good cure rates."

More information

What does melanoma look like? Find out at the Skin Cancer Foundation.

SOURCES: Amy Forman Taub, M.D., dermatologist, Lincolnshire, Ill.; Michele Green, M.D., dermatologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Ana M. Duarte, M.D., director of pediatric dermatology, Miami Children's Hospital; May 2013, Pediatrics

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Surgery Rates Rising for Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer: Study
2. Moffitt Cancer Center researchers working at frontiers of melanoma research
3. Women More Likely to Survive Melanoma Than Men: Study
4. Scientists Map Melanomas Genome
5. Two-Drug Combo May Be Safe for Melanoma Treatment
6. Melanoma a Big Threat to Older Men
7. Fish shed light on human melanoma
8. LA BioMed investigators, Drs. Kevin Bruhn and Noah Craft, develop novel treatment for melanoma
9. New Melanoma Drug May Extend Survival
10. New Guidelines Issued for Biopsy Use in Melanoma Patients
11. Melanoma-promoting gene discovered
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Melanoma Rates Rising in U.S. Children
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... , ... On November 23rd 2015 Cozy Products, a division of ... Cozy Products explains what this means for business moving forward. , The Tri Lite ... business model: to sell personal heaters that reduce energy consumption, are economical and keep ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Brillianteen, McGaw YMCA’s ... learning in its 65th Anniversary Brillianteen Revue, scheduled for March 4-6, 2016. Auditions ... 65 years, Brillianteen has been a treasured tradition for numerous families in the ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Missouri (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... HEAL, will provide scholarships for people struggling with eating disorders as a result ... from the second annual event, held at Fox Run Golf Club in Eureka, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... An unlikely ... resulting in a way for homeless people to have a more dignified and ... new initiative whereby they are repurposing plastic bags into sleeping mats for the ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Students and parents have something to be thankful ... Create Real Impact awards. California Casualty is proud to support the contest ... distracted and reckless driving, the number one killer of young drivers. , Almost ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... Nov. 25, 2015  Trovagene, Inc. (NASDAQ: TROV ... that Chief Executive Officer Antonius Schuh, Ph.D., is scheduled ... Annual Piper Jaffray Healthcare Conference. th ... York Palace Hotel in New York ... EST. Mr. Schuh will be available for one-on-one meetings ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Nov. 25, 2015 USP 800 applies ... preparations (e.g. pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, nurses, physicians, physician ... The chapter also covers all entities which store, ... hospitals, other healthcare institutions, patient treatment clinics, physicians, ... --> --> What is the ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , November 25, 2015 Developmental, commercial, ... role in boosting the profitability of pharmaceutical products, ... commercial, and regulatory/legal strategies all play a ... says GBI Research . --> ... play a key role in boosting the profitability of pharmaceutical products, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: