epidemiology in children

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  • approximately 2% of melanomas occur in patients under 20 years

  • 0.3-0.4% of melanomas occur in prepubertal children

  • 20% of melanomas in children and adolescents occur in the head and neck

  • risk factors for the development of malignant melanomas in children include:
    • giant congenital melanocytic naevi
    • dysplastic naevus syndrome
    • xeroderma pigmentosum
    • immunodeficiency states
    • the inability to tan, increased numbers of benign naevi, and history of blistering sunburns during childhood and adolescence confer greater susceptibility to the development of malignant melanoma in adulthood


  • Markovic SN et al. Malignant melanoma in the 21st century, part 1: epidemiology, risk factors, screening, prevention, and diagnosis. Mayo Clin Proc. 2007;82(3):364-80
  • Ceballos PI et al. Melanoma in children. NEJM 1995;332: 656-62.

Last reviewed 01/2018