In order to find Melanoma earlier on, it is important to examine the child’s body regularly for spots/rashes that are changing in shape, size or texture
Melanoma is a rare type of Skin Cancer, yet one that is most lethal. Spotting it earlier helps with diagnosis and effective treatment. Melanoma is one of the most common types of skin cancer amongst children.
WHAT IS MELANOMA?
Melanoma is the more aggressive form of skin cancer. It develops in the melanocytes that give skin its colour. And while exposure to UV radiation is a major cause of melanoma unlike other types of skin cancers, melanoma can develop on parts of the body not normally exposed to the sun. What makes Melanoma dangerous is the fact that it spreads fast to other parts of the body such as the lungs, liver, bone, and brains. This makes it harder to treat – calling for more aggressive and invasive procedures.
In order to find Melanoma earlier on, it is important to examine the child’s body regularly for spots/rashes that are changing in shape, size, or texture. If they are oozy or itchy, then getting a doctor’s opinion is imperative.
The ABCDE of identifying a Melanoma Mole/spot applies to children. However, given that children do develop normal moles too as they grow, one must be wary of what needs to be checked out by the doctor and what can be ignored.
In general, the ABCDE of Melanoma are:
In the case of Paediatric Melanoma, the above mentioned ABCDE applies but there could be other aspects as well, to consider.
TREATING MELANOMA IN CHILDREN
The treatment for Melanoma in kids is similar to options available to adults.
With the right kind of treatment before the cancer advances and spreads, Paediatric Melanoma can be effectively eliminated.
SKIN CANCER PREVENTION
Since Skin cancer is primarily caused by chronic or excessive exposure to sunlight (which means exposure to UV rays), stop your child from stepping out in midday when it is the hottest. Make sure they always use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF to protect against UV-B and UV-A rays when stepping outdoors. A lip-balm with sun protection will also help. Encourage your child to wear protective clothes and accessories: long-sleeved shirts and long pants to protect their arms and legs and a hat or a cap to protect their face, eyes, and ears.
CONSULTANT – DERMATOLOGY