Skin Cancer and Kids

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Story Updated: Apr 2, 2013

Malignant melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer... While rare in children, it's the most common skin cancer among those 20 and under in the U.S. and has been significantly increasing since 2004.

A new study in the journal Pediatrics looks more closely at the gender, age and stage of young patients being diagnosed with the disease.

Using data from over three decades, the researchers identified 1-thousand-2 hundred-30 children with malignant melanoma. Crunching the numbers further... they found that pediatric melanoma increased an average of 2% per year from 1973 to 2009.

Teenage girls ages 15 to 19 had significantly higher rates of malignant melanoma than boys and younger children. Girls were more often diagnosed on the lower limbs and hips. Boys on the face and trunk.

The researchers say the next step is to determine risk factors for adolescent melanoma.

The one bit of good news, melanoma survival rates have also increased since the 1970s. The five-year survival rate is nearly 100-percent for cases diagnosed early.

And that's today's health news from HealthDay TV, your source for healthier living

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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a nonprofit independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, is part of a family of companies that finances and delivers vital health care services to 1.8 million people across upstate New York. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provides access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, including valuable health-related resources that our members use every day, such as cost-saving prescription drug discounts and wellness tracking tools in our Step Up program. To learn more, visit www.excellusbcbs.com