The physicians and staff at Moffitt Cancer Center have a special interest in melanoma and related conditions occurring in childhood, and recently published results of their experience with cases of pathologically confirmed childhood melanoma.
They found evidence that the disease manifests differently in children than in adults, particularly with regard to the likelihood and significance of lymph node metastases. Metastases to the lymph nodes, particularly the sentinel nodes, were found more frequently in children with melanoma than would be expected in adults with the same stage of disease, yet with aggressive surgical and medical treatment, stage-for-stage the survival in children was better than expected for adults.The study is published in the August issue of the Annals of Surgical Oncology.
“We feel that most pediatric patients with clinically localized melanomas should be offered sentinel lymph node biopsies,” concluded Sondak and his co-authors. “It is also noteworthy that a significant number of recurrences and melanoma-related deaths are seen more than five years after initial diagnosis. Thus, long-term follow-up is necessary as these children become young adults. Most of all, our study should remind people how important it is to protect children from the sun and from sunburn, starting from birth.”About Moffitt Cancer Center
Kim Polacek | EurekAlert!
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