- Topic Info:In the US alone, more than 2 million Americans will be diagnosed in 2010 with nonmelanoma skin cancer, and 68,130 will be diagnosed with melanoma, according to the American Cancer Society.
Fortunately, skin cancers (basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma, and malignant melanoma) are rare in children. When melanomas occur, they usually arise from pigmented nevi (moles) that are large (diameter greater than 6 mm), asymmetric, with irregular borders and coloration. Bleeding, itching, and a lump under the skin are other signs of cancerous change. If a child has had radiation treatment for cancer, moles in the radiated area are at increased risk of becoming cancerous.
In this segment, Carrie Coughlin, MD, Washington University pediatric dermatologist at St. Louis Children's Hospital, discusses nevi (moles) and melanoma in children and when to refer to a specialist.