(HealthDay News) — The incidence of pediatric melanoma has increased by about 2% per year, and this incidence trend is influenced by gender, age, and stage at diagnosis, primary site, and ultraviolet (UV)-B exposure, according to research published online April 15 in Pediatrics.
Jeannette R. Wong, M.P.H., of the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Md., and colleagues analyzed data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program to describe the incidence trend of childhood and adolescent melanoma.
According to the researchers, 1,230 children were diagnosed with malignant melanoma between 1973 and 2009. Pediatric melanoma was noted to increase by an average of 2% per year. Girls had a significantly higher incidence rate than boys, 7.4% versus 4.6%. Incidence rate was noted to increase with age, with the highest incidence among 15- to 19-year-old children. Incidence rate increased in low UV-B exposure geographical areas, whereas the incidence rate remained stable in high UV-B exposure areas over the study period.
“Melanoma incidence continues to increase from previous studies, especially in adolescents and sun-exposed areas of the body with some evidence for geographic variation,” the authors write. “Future individual-level studies are needed to elucidate the underlying reasons for the increasing incidence of adolescent melanoma.”