Dr. Bernard Cohen, the director of pediatric dermatology at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center, says 10 years ago he never saw skin cancer in a child, but now he's seeing a few cases a year. Cohen says people are spending more time in the sun and kids especially are getting a ton of sun exposure early in life.
Still, doctors can't point to any definitive reasons for the increase but Cohen believes genetics and more exposure to ultraviolet light are definite factors. For example, the chance of recurrence after a melanoma can be as high as 50% but Cohen worries that in a child who has years and years left to live, that chance could be much higher.
Dermatologists say pediatricians should be doing skin checks as part of a child's over all check up. The earlier doctors can find skin cancer, the more successful the treatment.