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Are Girls at Higher Risk Than Boys of Developing Melanoma?

By: Cordi Craig
Posted: Friday, May 3, 2019

Although melanoma diagnoses are rare in the pediatric population, the incidence of melanoma was significantly higher in girls between the ages of 10 and 19 than in boys in the same age range, according to a study published in Pediatric Dermatology. Although the authors did not observe differences in the mean age of diagnoses, there were sex-specific differences in the site of lesions.

“Further investigations should aim to identify causes for these sex‐specific differences in order to better guide public health initiatives,” Nazanin Kalani, MD, of the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, and colleagues, concluded.

The authors retrospectively analyzed 256 cases of melanoma in patients up to 20 years old using the Colorado Central Cancer Registry. Of the 256 cases, 160 (62.5%) were female and 96 (37.5%) were male. The authors evaluated differences in incidence of melanoma according to patient age, sex, and site of lesion.

There was a significantly higher number of cases of melanoma among girls between the ages of 10 and 14 (P = .047) and between the ages of 15 and 19 (P = .047). The risk of melanoma diagnoses increased with age in both the male and female groups. The mean age of diagnosis for both sexes was 16 years. The most common site of melanoma in both boys and girls was the trunk. However, there appeared to be a trend toward a higher incidence of melanoma on the scalp and neck of boys (P = .052), whereas there was an increase in melanoma on the lower extremities in girls (P = .005).

Disclosure: The study authors’ disclosure information may be found at onlinelibrary.wiley.com.



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