This is an interesting study. The important factor is that survival rates did not differ by age. There is probably a relationship to the fact that atypical Spitzoid lesions also have a higher rate of lymph node metastases but no increase in mortality rate.
Baltimore, MD, United States (AHN) – Invasive melanoma, a particularly dangerous form of skin cancer, may be more likely in children than adults, according to a new study.
Researchers with Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions analyzed five years of medical records tracking 717 children and 1,368 young adults between the ages of 20 and 24 who were diagnosed with melanoma. The children with melanoma were more likely than the adults with the disease to have metastases in the lymph nodes surrounding the tumor, which are known as sentinel lymph nodes.
Cancer cells were found in the sentinel lymph nodes of 25 percent of the children and 14 percent of adults who had biopsies, the researchers found. Children under 10 were more likely to have metastases beyond the original tumor site, and to have tumors with greater thickness compared with older children and young adults.
Survival rates did not differ significantly by age among the patients.
According to the National Cancer Institute, there will be more than 70,000 new diagnoses of melanoma and almost 8,800 deaths in the United States from the disease in 2011 alone. Both diagnoses and treatment “can be seriously delayed” among pediatric patients.
Doctors believe incidence of both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer in children and young adults has increased because of unprotected sun exposure, indoor tanning and repeated sun burns, especially during childhood.