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Melanoma in Children

  • About 300 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with melanoma each year. While melanoma is the least common type of skin cancer in adults, skin cancer in children is almost always melanoma. Among children, melanoma often looks different and may grow faster than it does in adults.

    Pediatric melanoma has increased on average 2 percent per year since 1973, although its incidence seems to have decreased over the last few years. The biggest increase in recent decades has been in girls ages 15-19, possibly because girls are more likely than boys to sunbathe and use tanning beds.

    Melanoma treatment at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's

    Children with melanoma are treated through the Rare Tumors Program at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. Our treatment teams have expertise in treating even the rarest forms of cancer, and many of our specialists are also active researchers, providing your child access to the most advanced treatments available.

    Learn more about childhood melanoma

    Find in-depth information on childhood melanoma on the Dana-Farber/Boston Children's website, including answers to:

    • What are the melanoma symptoms and risk factors in children?
    • How is childhood melanoma diagnosed?
    • What is the treatment for melanoma in children?
    • What is the latest research on pediatric melanoma?
    • What is the long-term outlook for children with melanoma?