(HealthDay News) – Pediatric patients diagnosed with an invasive cutaneous melanoma have nearly double the relative risk of developing a subsequent primary melanoma, compared with adults.

To investigate the risks of subsequent primary melanoma development in pediatric and adult patients, G W Jung, of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and Martin A. Weinstock, MD, PhD, of Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, conducted a retrospective study using data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results database for 208,289 patients diagnosed with invasive melanoma from 1973–2010.

The researchers found that 3.3% of patients were diagnosed with a subsequent primary melanoma. Increasing age at diagnosis of the first melanoma correlated with increasing incidence of second primary melanomas. However, patients diagnosed with their first melanoma at age <19 years had nearly double the relative risk of developing a subsequent melanoma compared to those who were first diagnosed when they were older. Forty-four percent of subsequent melanomas were of a different subtype to the initial invasive melanoma, and 55% were located in a different anatomic site compared with the initial invasive melanoma.

“In summary, second primary melanoma is not only an important sequelae of adult melanomas but also a significant consequence following pediatric index cases,” the authors write. “As such, both physicians and parents should maintain a proactive follow-up regimen consisting of regular complete skin examinations for this younger patient population, as should occur with other age groups.”

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)