Skin Cancer In Children: How To Identify It?2021-05-31
How does skin cancer in children looks like? Is it common for children to develop this cancer? What can cause this, and what are the treatment options applicable? In actuality, having regular check-ups by your doctor can help determine whether the body is in a healthy state. Cancer screenings are essential to confirm if the condition is cancer or not.
Skin cancer in children is not typical. But why do such cases seem to be increasing among kids? We will find that out as we go along with this article. Skin cancer occurs when there is an abnormal growth of the skin cells, resulting in the mass formation of cancer cells.
Additionally, skin cancer can develop in various areas, especially those with exposure to the sun. However, it is still possible to occur in those skin areas without sun exposure.
Skin cancer has various types, and we will discuss the main ones in this article individually. Furthermore, a person can develop skin cancer because of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays and the usage of UV tanning beds.
However, people with this condition are still treatable as long as the detection is early. They can go to the dermatologist to undergo their treatment.
Dermatologists are most likely to treat the condition with little to no scarring. Fortunately, skin cancer’s elimination is of high odds. That’s why it is essential to consult a medical professional for any symptoms.
Skin cancer in children
As we mentioned earlier, skin cancer in children is not typical. However, we will discuss which types of skin cancer are prevalent in children.
In general, symptoms of skin cancer can occur. Through identifying these symptoms, they can immediately take action and seek medical advice to receive treatment.
Suppose the patient can seek immediate medical attention. In that case, the doctor can detect the growth at a precancerous stage before reaching full-blown cancer or before it can penetrate underneath the skin surface.
Main types of skin cancer
Below are the main types of skin cancer that can develop in a person with over-exposure to the sun. We also included the symptoms associated with each class.
Basal cell carcinoma
It is the type of skin cancer that is highly treatable. Additionally, this cancer grows very slowly. You can find the growth of this cancer on skin areas with exposure to the sun, such as the face, ears, neck, scalp, shoulders, and back.
You can identify this skin cancer through any of the following characteristics.
- This skin cancer can appear like a translucent bump. It can be pearly white, matches the color of the skin, or pinkish.
- Another characteristic of this skin cancer is a lesion appearing brownish, blackish, or bluish. It also has a slightly elevated, translucent border.
- Additionally, it can also appear at the back or chest as a flat, scaly, reddish patch. The edge of the patch is raised as well. Moreover, it can grow quite prominent in the long run.
- Lastly, the lesion can also appear whitish, waxy, and scar-like with an indefinite border.
Squamous cell carcinoma
This type of skin cancer is a little aggressive than basal cell carcinoma. But then, it is still treatable. This type can spread to the body’s tissues, bones, and nearby lymph nodes. During this period, the treatment can be more challenging. However, with early detection, it is easy to treat.
This cancer type shows the following characteristics.
- It can show as a dome-shaped bump, appearing like a wart.
- Additionally, it can also come out like a red, scaly patch of skin, which is also rough and crusty. Moreover, it can bleed easily.
- Furthermore, this cancer also appears like an open sore, wherein complete healing is not achievable.
- Lastly, you can also notice a growth with raised edges while the lower area in the middle can bleed or itch.
It is the most severe type of skin cancer. This type often occurs among adults, but this skin cancer in children is also possible.
Pediatric melanoma takes a small percentage of occurrence only. However, most of the deaths come from this type of skin cancer.
Meanwhile, this skin cancer can also develop in the eyes, mouth, genital and anal areas, including areas with sun exposure. Furthermore, it can spread rapidly.
A pediatric melanoma has this ABCDE rule to keep in mind when checking the moles.
- A stands for the mole’s asymmetry, considering the way of cutting the mole.
- B is for a border, focusing on the mole’s edges and way of spread.
- C represents the mole’s color, either darker or lighter than usual.
- D is for diameter. You may confirm if the size is larger than the eraser on top of a pencil.
- E signifies evolving, which pertains to a change of size, shape, color, or the elevation of the mole.
Pediatric melanoma risk factors
Pediatric melanoma risk factors can increase the chances for an individual to develop this cancer type.
- a fair complexion that can freckle or burn quickly
- blue or green eyes
- blond or red hair
- a vast number of moles
- UV exposure
- frequent or severe sunburns
- family history
- older age
- history of melanoma
Diagnosis and treatment
Doctors are most likely to conduct a biopsy. They will remove all or a part of the lesion to determine the presence of cancer cells.
A biopsy can help determine how deep the cancer cells already penetrated under the skin. This way, doctors can predict the risk of spread. A melanoma often travels to the nearby lymph nodes.
When melanoma already reached the lymph nodes, most likely, it is already a stage III melanoma.
The treatment applicable for melanoma includes the following.
- targeted therapy
Overall, treatment can vary according to different factors and the actual condition of the skin cancer. Any skin cancer is treatable as long as early detection takes place.
However, if the patient left the condition without any treatment, the spread can be quicker than expected. In general, everyone is prone to develop skin cancer.
For this reason, prevention of skin cancer is essential to reduce the risk of developing the skin condition. Make sure your child follows a healthy diet, regular weekly exercise and annual health checkups.