Welcome international healthcare professionals

This site is no longer supported and will not be updated with new content. You are welcome to browse and download all content already included in the site. Please note you will have to register your email address to access the site.

You are here

Melanoma incidence rises for children and adolescents: An epidemiologic review of pediatric melanoma in the United States

Mary T. Austin, Yan Xing, Andrea A. Hayes-Jordan, Kevin P. Lally, Janice N. Cormier

Journal of Pediatric Surgery, Volume 48, Issue 11, November 2013, Pages 2207–2213


This study was conducted to determine the influence of age on disease presentation and evaluate the change in pediatric melanoma incidence between 1998 and 2007.

We performed a retrospective review of all children ≤ 18 years with cutaneous melanoma who were included in the 2007 National Cancer Institute Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database between 1988 and 2007.

We identified a total of 1447 patients with cutaneous melanoma. The overall average annual melanoma incidence was 5.4 per 1 million children and adolescents in the U.S., which increased throughout the study period. Most patients (89%) were at least 10 years of age (average age 15 years). Melanoma in situ (21%), thin (< 1 mm) lesions (37%), stage I disease (46%), and superficial spreading histology (25%) were common at presentation. Only 1% of patients presented with distant metastases. Preadolescents younger than age 10 were ethnically more diverse and more likely to present with non-truncal primaries and advanced disease (P < .01) compared to adolescents.

The incidence of pediatric melanoma in the U.S. is increasing. There are significant differences between children and adolescents which suggest age-based inherent differences in the biology of the disease may exist.