Melanoma in Children is Rare—But Rising

Melanoma, which currently accounts for 3% of cancers in children, is increasing by about 2% a year amongst newborns to 19-year-olds, according to a new study in Pediatrics. The researchers studied 1,230 white children and found that the biggest jump in melanoma rates was in those aged 15 to 19 years. Girls were particularly at-risk,and were more likely to have melanomas on their lower legs and hips. Boys were more likely to have melanomas on their faces and trunks. Melanoma is also on the rise in adults and the increase in this cancer among both children and adults may be driven by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds. Doctors recommend frequent application of sunscreen that blocks both UV A and UV B rays and urge parents to watch for new or changing moles on their children.