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Skin Cancer in Children - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

20 February, 2021 Pallavi Patel

Skin cancer is caused by some malignant tumor that grows in the cells of skin. Children are most likely to get diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. According to research, the rate of children getting diagnosed with cancer is increasing by 2% each year. No parent wants to come across such a situation and to remain alert, here are all the facts that they must know about child skin cancer.

Skin cancer is not a common cause among children but unfortunately, some of them need to go through it due to various causes. The cells of skin cancer spread and damage nearby tissues and thereby spread to other parts of the body. Below mentioned are the facts that every parent must know so that they can avoid this situation for their child.

Causes of Skin Cancer:

The main reason behind skin cancer in children is exposure to sunlight. Children with light skin, light colored eyes and blond or red hair are more likely to get diagnosed with skin cancer. Other causes of skin cancer in children are:

  • Family history of skin cancer
  • Time spent in sun
  • Sunburns
  • Freckles
  • Larger number of moles
  • Suppressed immune system
  • HPV infection
  • Atypical moles

Symptoms of Skin Cancer:

Basal Cell Carcinoma has symptoms that are mostly visible in the affected areas like neck, face, arms and hands.

  • Tiny bumps that seem to arise from the skin texture that looks shiny or pearly.
  • Irregular scaly flat spots in the color of pale, pink and red.
  • Bleeding spots that comes and goes rapidly
  • Brown or black areas that have raised edgy growth.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma also has symptoms on the affected parts of the body.

  • Bleeding growth that is wart like.
  • Irregular bumps that has a rapid growth
  • Pink, brown, red or black patches that are rough but do not bleed

Symptoms of Melanoma are recognized through moles that appear on the skin are:

  • Changing moles along with change in shape, size and color.
  • Different moles have different shapes and colors that may be pink, light brown, brown, dark brown, red and black.
  • Most of the moles are rough in texture and does not have a particular regular shape.
  • The moles are usually bigger in size. Majority of the moles are bigger in size but some of them can be smaller.

The other symptoms of Skin Cancer in Children are:

  • The moles swell that become red
  • The moles seem itchy and hurtful. There is a burning sensation on the skin after vigorous itching.
  • The cancer moles that the concerned child has, look different from the other moles on his/her body.

Treatment of Skin Cancer in Children:

1. Chemotherapy - Chemotherapy involves medicines, drugs and ointments that are given to the patient of skin cancer. Skin cancer is cured through chemotherapy by applying some ointments according to the type of skin cancer on the affected areas that includes the face, legs, arms, neck and other parts that get affected due to more exposure in sun.

Ointments are suggested in chemotherapy because these are the best for the top layer of the skin.

2. Radiation therapy - Radiation therapy involves usage of high energy rays that are given through lasers. The type of radiation therapy that is practiced in skin cancer is electron beam radiation. The rate of energy is not that high like in other radiation therapy for cancer because skin cancer does not need in depth treatment but only on the surface. The electron beam therapy damages the cancer cells on the skin surface. It is given only on the affected areas.

3. Surgery - The surgery of skin cancer is done in a very sensitive manner. The tissues of the affected areas of the body are removed very carefully. Surgery is done by checking each layer of skin. Each layer is checked after removal of skin so that no trace of cancer cell is left on the skin. The surgery is also operated to discard melanoma.

4. Excision - The tumor and the surrounding tissues are removed by cutting them off from all the affected portions of the body. It is removed by using scalpel after giving anesthesia to the child. The wounds are healed by stitching or bandaging the operated area of the skin.

5. Shave Excision - In this procedure, the top layers of the skin is taken off that include the cancer cells by shaving off the tumors of the affected areas with a tiny blade.

Medications for Skin Cancer in Children

The medications of skin cancer in children can be easily available at chemist as well as online pharmacy platforms.

  • Imiquimod
  • Aldara
  • Efudex
  • Odomzo
  • Sonidegib


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