Pediatric Melanoma

Malignant melanoma is rapidly increasing in the United States because of age adjusted incidence and the rate of increase in all age groups was 2.8% per year from 1981 to 2001 and from1975 to 2001 in children (age < 20 years) it was 1.1% per year.Since melanoma is rare (300 to 420 new cases per year) the diagnosis is often delayed in children.When there is prompt identification and wide local excision of early disease the prognosis is good.Multiple host and environmental factors associated with increased risk of malignant melanoma have been identifies in adults in Case-control studies.

The Host factors are as follows:

1) Fair skin,

2) White race,

3) Blond or Red hair,

4) Light eye color,

5) Tendency to burn with UV radiation exposure,

6) Increased number of benign nevi,

7) Dysplastic nevi,

8) Family history of melanoma

9) Xeroderma pigmentosum