Doctors say more cases of skin cancer are showing up in children
POSTED: Sunday, September 9, 2012 - 1:00am
UPDATED: Sunday, September 9, 2012 - 1:04am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — For Melissa Cummins the news that her eleven year old had skin cancer was a shock.
"I was sick," recalled Cummins. "I actually dropped down and couldn't talk on the phone."
And while the family often spent times outdoors hunting, fishing and on the boat Cummins says she was always about skin protection.
"They were not outside without hats, bonnets as babies,"said Cummins. "Sun screen always gets put on to the point my boys fuss at me."
Doctors agree skin cancer at such a young as is still uncommon but the rates are increasing at a surprising rate.
Dr. Bernard Cohen, a Pediatric Dermatologist, said ten years ago he never saw skin cancer in a child but now he says he sees a few cases a year.
"Clearly people are out in the sun and are getting a lot more sun exposure. And kids are getting tons of sun exposure particularly early in life," explained Dr. Cohen.
Dr. Cohen said it's not just Melanoma on the rise.
He says he's seeing more incidents of less serious Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma cancers as well.
Dr. Cohen believes genetics and more exposure to Ultraviolet light are definitely factors.
Doreen Gentzler reporting.