Purpose This study aims to review the incidence and outcomes for children with superficial spreading melanomas (SSM) using population-based data. Methods The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database (1974-2009) was analyzed for all patients less than 20 years of age diagnosed with SSM. Results Overall, 724 patients were identified. The annual age-adjusted incidence was 1.78 cases per 1,000,000 in 2009. Most patients were adolescents (N = 620, 85.6%), girls (N = 478, 66.0%), and Caucasian (N = 670, 92.5%). Most tumors were located on the trunk (N = 308, 42.5%) or lower extremities (N = 160, 22.1%). Overall and disease-specific survivals were 95.6% and 97.6%, respectively. Lymph node positivity decreased disease-specific survival among patients undergoing lymph node dissection (86% vs. 100% for negative lymph nodes, P = 0.001). Conclusions Incidence of SSM increased in the early part of the study, but has remained relatively stable over the past 2 decades. Girls are at higher risk of development of the disease. Outcomes for children with SSM are very favorable.
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