UH/CWRU study shows decline in cases of pediatric melanoma
The incidence of melanoma has been increasing in adults in the past 40 years and most studies show a similar trend in children. However, a study team led by Dr. Jeremy S. Bordeaux, Director of the UH Multidisciplinary Cutaneous Oncology Program, finds that trend declining in pediatric melanoma.
Using data from Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results cancer registries, the team identified 1,185 new cases of pediatric melanoma between 2000-2010. Additional information such as age, sex, type of melanoma and location on the body and how that could affect the rate of occurrences was also reviewed.
Overall, there was a decrease of 12% per year during 2004-2010. For boys, there was a decrease of nearly 7% each year during 2000-2010 and in older teens ages 15-19, a decrease of 11% each year (2003-2010). Notably, the prevalence of new cases of pediatric melanoma in the trunk and upper extremities, as well as cases with good prognostic indicators, decreased significantly each year.
These decreasing trends differ dramatically to the significantly increasing melanoma incidence rates in US adults across a similar period. This difference may be attributed to a shift to youth participating in more indoor activities, parental awareness of sun protective measures in children and effective public health initiatives.
However, Dr. Jeremy S. Bordeaux notes that it’s concerning that the decrease in melanoma rates are occurring in cases of melanoma with good prognostic indicators. It’s important that awareness programs continue teaching sun protective behavior, as limiting UV exposure is a key role in reducing melanoma risk.
Journal of Pediatrics Press Release
Dr. Jeremy Bordeaux senior author of study of Children and Decreases in Melanoma