Pediatric skin cancer numbers are rising - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Pediatric skin cancer numbers are rising

Posted: Updated:

SUNNYSIDE, WA - Over 3.3 million Americans are diagnosed with melanoma each year, but did you know the numbers are rising in pediatric skin cancers? It is extremely rare, with only 1 to 4 percent of all melanomas being diagnosed in people under the age 20.

The most common age within that time frame is 15 to 19. Over 500 kids each year are being diagnosed.

"The changes in our weather and our climate there is an increase of about 4 percent that has been happening in the last couple of years because of sunlight being a lot more direct," said Dr. Ana Garcia, an Astria Sunnyside Hospital pediatrician.

Pediatric skin cancer is extremely hard to detect since the melanoma may present itself as a nonspecific non-pigmented lesion. Any child diagnosed with pediatric melanoma is more likely to get it as an adult.

It's important for all kids to get yearly skin exams, and f you're worried about a mole or spot, make sure to take them to their pediatrician or doctor.