The incidence of melanoma is falling among American children, according to a new study published in The Journal of Pediatrics.

Researchers led by Lisa Campbell, M.D., of Case Western Reserve University and the University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, looked at national cancer registry data from 2000 to 2010.

The researchers found that the overall number of new melanoma cases among children fell 12 percent each year from 2004 to 2010.

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Among 15-to-19-year-olds, cases of melanoma decreased by almost 8 percent a year for boys from 2000 to 2010, and by 11 percent per year for girls. The data also showed decreases in melanoma located on the trunk and upper extremities.

The results contradict those from other studies that suggest that melanoma among children is on the rise, Campbell’s group said. They note that there was also a significant rise in melanoma rates for American adults over the study period.

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However, much of the decline in pediatric melanomas occurred in cases where there were indications of good outcomes.

So, “although it is encouraging to observe decreasing melanoma incidence overall, it is concerning that this decrease is occurring in those cases of melanoma with good prognostic indicators,” senior author Jeremy Bordeaux, M.D., M.P.H., a dermatologist at the University Hospitals Case Medical Center, said in a journal news release.


  1. Campbell, Laura B., MD, et al. “Melanoma Incidence in Children and Adolescents: Decreasing Trends in the United States.” The Journal of Pediatrics. DOI: April 8, 2015.