Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that primarily occurs in adults but also is found occasionally in children. In the United States, approximately 500 children are diagnosed with pediatric melanoma a year according to the National Cancer Institute, and there is evidence that incidence is on the rise.
Melanoma may grow faster in children than in adults. Children may fare better than adults, and if caught early, most do not require treatment beyond surgery. Accurate diagnosis and surgery by an experienced surgeon are vital for better outcomes in children. Among children, sun exposure plays less of a role in the development of melanoma. Researchers believe it is a combination of genetic predisposition and other unknown triggers.
Children with fair skin, freckles or red or blond hair have a higher risk of melanoma. Previous studies have shown that children who have been treated for melanoma are at an increased risk of recurrence later in life.
If your child has been diagnosed with melanoma, we’re here to help. Call 1-877-MDA-6789 to make an appointment or request an appointment online.
Why Choose MD Anderson?
- Innovative melanoma treatments, including lymphatic mapping and sentinel node biopsy, targeted therapy, limb perfusion, interleukin-2 and immune-based therapy
- Skilled multidisciplinary team with expertise in melanoma
- Most advanced diagnostic methods
- One of the world’s largest programs
- Nationally recognized research program with many clinical trials
- Melanoma is part of MD Anderson's Moon Shots Program: an ambitious effort to reduce cancer deaths through the rapid discovery and implementation of new treatments