Skip to Content

Childhood Melanoma Prevention and Screening

Pediatric Melanoma Screening

Cancer screening exams are important medical tests done when you’re at risk but don’t have symptoms. They help find cancer at its earliest stage, when the chances for successful treatment are highest.
It is a good idea to examine your child’s skin periodically. If your child has risk factors, talk to your doctor about routine screening exams.

Pediatric Melanoma Risk Factors

Although the exact cause of pediatric melanoma is not known, certain things make it more likely that a child will develop this type of cancer. These risk factors include:

  • Immunosuppression, immunodeficiency
  • History of retinoblastoma
  • Certain inherited disorders including xeroderma pigmentosum and Werner syndrome
  • Giant melanocytic nevi
  • Prolonged exposure to sunlight. This is less of a factor in children than adults.
  • Red or blonde hair, blue eyes, freckles
  • Tendency to sunburn and not tan
  • Large number of moles
  • Family history of melanoma

Previous studies have shown that children who are treated for melanoma are at an increased risk of it returning later in life.

Not everyone with risk factors gets melanoma. However, if your child has risk factors, you should discuss them with the doctor.

If your child has been diagnosed with melanoma, we’re here to help. Call 1-877-632-6789 to make an appointment or request an appointment online.

Why Choose MD Anderson?

  • Leading-edge expertise, technology for pediatric melanoma diagnosis and treatment
  • Customized team approach offers best chance for successful treatment of pediatric melanoma
  • Highly skilled, specialized surgeons
  • Range of clinical trials of innovative treatments for pediatric melanoma
  • Family-centered care, comprehensive support services

Childhood Melanoma Knowledge Center

Treatment at MD Anderson

Childhood melanoma is treated in our:

Find Your MD Anderson Location



© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center