Background Pediatric melanoma rates are increasing nationally. Our purpose was to determine the incidence of melanoma in New Mexico's (NM's) American Indian, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic white children. Methods A retrospective review (1981 to 2009) of the NM Tumor Registry was conducted. Melanomas diagnosed in children <19 years of age were identified. Average annual age-adjusted incidence rates per million were calculated. Results Sixty-four cases were identified. Rates per million were 7.4 for non-Hispanic whites, 2.1 for Hispanics, and 3.3 for American Indians. Fifty-nine percent were women. Fifty-five (86%) cases were localized, 6 (9%) were regional, and 1 (3%) case was metastatic. Majority of cases (49/64; 77%) occurred in children >14 years of age. American Indians presented with thicker melanomas as compared to whites and Hispanics. Conclusions Incidence rates for pediatric melanoma in NM are highest for non-Hispanic whites. Distant metastasis is uncommon. Melanoma in children is rare, but practitioners must be aware of its occurrence for prompt diagnosis and treatment.
- Native American
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