Medical Video: Do You Have Skin Cancer?
Not only adults, children can also experiencemelanoma skin cancer. Although including a rare type of cancer, melanoma is the most common type of skin cancer that attacks children. Read further to find out what are the characteristics of skin cancer in children. Early detection can increase the chances of treatment success and child life expectancy.
Overview of melanoma skin cancer
Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer that develops due to interference with melanocyte cells so that it becomes malignant. Melanocyte cells are cells that produce melanin, the determinant of skin color. Characteristics of melanoma skin cancer look like a mole that just appears suddenly, although some also develop from existing moles.
Moles characteristic of cancer can spread to the surrounding area and then increasingly enter the skin, into blood vessels, and lymph nodes, and finally attack into the liver (lungs), lungs, and bones.
Characteristics of melanoma skin cancer in children
Not all moles are characteristic of melanoma skin cancer. Moles are a feature of cancer if they grow suddenly in a place where previously flies do not ripen, and experience changes in shape, size and color.
Characteristics of skin cancer in children, including:
- Changes in the shape, color, or size of a mole
- Moles appear as wounds that don't heal and hurt
- Moles that are itchy or bleeding
- Lumps that look shiny or crusty
- Dark spots under fingernails or toenails are not caused by sores on the nails
Risk factors for childhood melanoma skin cancer
Children who are white and have brightly colored real hair has a high risk of melanoma. That's because more cases of skin cancer in children are found in white children (Caucasian race).
In addition, exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun and a history of skin cancer in the family make the child more vulnerable to the development of melanoma.
In general, the risk factors for skin cancer in children over 10 years are the same as those experienced by adults, although for younger children the risk factors are less clear.
Children survivors of skin cancer still have the same risk of cancer recurrence in the future.
What are the treatments for melanoma skin cancer in children?
Treatment options for pediatric melanoma depend on the stage and place of spread of the cancer. Low-grade melanoma skin cancer (0-1) is usually treated with surgical removal of moles and healthy skin tissue at the edges. Low-grade skin cancer can also be treated with the administration of imiquimod (Zyclara) cream, an ointment that helps eliminate cancerous and non-cancerous skin growth.
The higher the diagnosis of skin cancer stage in, the treatment options are increasingly diverse and complex. These include lymph node biopsy, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. Treatment therapy will be planned by the doctor according to the child's condition and the development of symptoms of melanoma skin cancer that he has experienced.
Can melanoma skin cancer be prevented?
Childhood melanoma can be prevented by reducing direct exposure to UV light. This prevention can be done by using a sunscreen with at least SPF 15. This can reduce the risk of your child having melanoma up to 50 percent.
Let your child play outside in the morning and late afternoon. This will reduce sun exposure directly to your child so that it can protect your child from melanoma. In addition, it's best to avoid your child from sunbathing to darken skin color (tanning).
Using dark clothes can also protect your child. using a hat can also be the best choice to protect your child from the hot sun.
Perform skin checks on your child regularly, especially on the face, neck and legs. Children who spend a lot of time outside without wearing clothes can make it vulnerable to skin cancer in their bodies.