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Although small in number,  melanoma in children has risen by two percent between 1973 and 2009 from a total of less than 250 a year to about 500 now.

According to the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, these are the warning signs for pediatric melanoma:

  • Skin: A bump that itches and bleeds.
  • Blemish: Any blemish that looks like a wart, without pigment or a pinkish color
  • Lesion: Lighter colored amelanotic lesions.
  • Moles: Any odd-looking moles, especially those larger in size.
  • Different: A mole that looks different from your child’s other moles.
  • Info: Remember these easy clues to moles that may be problematic: asymmetry, border irregularity, color, diameter (larger than 1/4 inch) and elevation.

The Houston Chronicle shared a story of a six year old girl who was diagnosed with pediatric melanoma. At first, they thought it was a wart or a pimple, but when it did not get better after treatment, the Doctor found that it was Melanoma. Thankfully, she is now in remission.

Unfortunately, melanomas in children do occur and for this reason, it is important to protect your children’s skin. Most importantly, avoid sunburns as this can increase the risk.  This is the purpose of the Hunt for Melanoma campaign. It is an opportunity for us to be aware of what a melanoma looks like and take a close inspection of the moles on our body.  View the ABCD’s and a downloadable brochure to get your first hand education on melanomas. 

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