Skin Cancer Facts: Can Kids Get Melanoma?


Here are some surprising skin cancer facts. Skin cancer is the most common cancer. Although there are different types of cancer, melanoma is the most lethal. It only occurs in 1 percent of skin cancer cases, but it is responsible for more than 10,000 deaths a year in the United States alone.

The risk of melanoma does increase as you get older. More sunburns and more time in the sun leads to more skin damage over time. In fact, the average age for discovering melanoma is 62.

That doesn’t mean that you’re in the clear if you’re not yet in your golden years, however.

Here are some skin cancer facts about melanoma in children:

  • Melanoma is one of the most common cancers in young women.
  • The 5-year survival rate for teens and young adults with melanoma is 95%.
  • Melanoma in children is on the rise.
  • About 300 children are diagnosed with melanoma every year.
  • Pediatric melanoma can be tough to diagnose. Lab tests on skin lesions can be inconclusive, and cancer may not be found until it has spread. That’s why it’s important to monitor any abnormal skin bumps, dark spots or moles and be firm with doctors who pass it off as nothing to be concerned about.
  • Melanoma in children looks different than melanoma in adults. One study showed that about 40 percent of children under age 10 with melanoma didn’t have the typical warning signs, like large, asymmetrical moles with irregular borders and color variations.
  • Melanoma may grow faster in children and teens than in adults.
  • Children who are diagnosed with melanoma are at an increased risk for the disease as they get older.
  • In rare cases, a mother with melanoma can pass the cancer to her unborn baby.

Don’t assume that just because your child’s skin is relatively new and hasn’t been exposed to the sun, he or she isn’t at risk for melanoma. Babies under six months should stay out of the sun completely. After that, children should wear kid-safe sunscreen every time they go outside.

Take sun safety for kids one step further by protecting their skin with clothing made to block UV radiation. Cabana Life has full sets of sun protective clothing for boys and girls. You can pair girls' swimsuits with beach cover ups or swim shorts for boys and girls with children's rashguards. You can even protect your infant with rashguard onesies that dry quickly and block 98 percent of the sun's rays. Make sun safety part of your child's daily routine to cut down on his or her risk of melanoma starting today.


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