A Parent’s Guide to Childhood Melanoma

There are three basic types of skin cancer: basal cell cancer, squamous cell cancer, and melanoma. The first two are much more common but are also a lot less dangerous. Melanoma can be incredibly dangerous and detrimental, even potentially life threatening if left unnoticed or untreated for an extended period of time.

Melanoma is rare in children but cases do occur. Melanoma in children is an especially important issue to be educated about, especially if you have kids of your own, so that you can be aware of the signs and symptoms to watch out for and more easily notice a development of the disease.

Childhood melanoma is constantly becoming a more heightened issue, as more and more children each year are diagnosed with the disease. This skin cancer must be evaluated and treated much differently than it is in adult cases, because children are not fully grown and are not able to handle the same forms of treatment as adults.


There are not always absolutely recognizable signs of childhood melanoma but there are certain signs and symptoms that you can watch out for. To prevent childhood melanoma as best as possible it is important that you examine your child’s skin on a regular basis and become familiar with moles. This is because irregular moles are one of the most major factors of skin cancer and also one of the first and most telltale signs of the disease.

There are also certain risk factors that make certain people more prone to the disease, and so it is important to determine whether your child has any of these risk factors so that you can understand whether you should be especially on the lookout for skin cancer in your child. This includes a family history of melanoma, many freckles, many moles, and early childhood sunburns as research has shown that sunburns early in life are a major contributing factor to the development of skin cancer, in both children and adults.

Childhood melanoma can be a very serious thing but if you notice the disease early enough the proper treatment can be performed and the child will be able to get rid of the cancer. It is important that they return for regular checkups afterwards however, especially the next few years after the initial treatment so that the doctor can make sure that the cancer has not returned and spread any further. Always watch out on your child’s skin for any irregularities or growths and report them to the family physician if you ever do notice any.

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