Pediatric Melanoma Center

Children with melanoma and other melanocytic tumors can find hope at the Pediatric Melanoma Center at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. We take a multidisciplinary approach in caring for children diagnosed with melanoma or atypical moles.

As partners with the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center Melanoma Program, you will find a team of doctors who:

  • Understand melanoma — a dangerous form of skin cancer — in children.
  • Have a wealth of knowledge and skill caring for children diagnosed with melanoma and related conditions.
  • Can answer the many questions families often have.

Care of patients diagnosed with melanoma or atypical melanocytic tumors at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC is a multidisciplinary team approach. Our clinical team includes pediatric and adult oncologists, pediatric oncologic and plastic surgeons, and pediatric dermatologists.

What is Pediatric Melanoma?

Most moles (or melanocytic tumors) in kids are benign, but they can pose future risk for skin cancer.

Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer. It's a cancer of the melanocytes — the cells that make the pigment melanin in the skin.

While melanoma is not the most common form of skin cancer in adults, it is the most common in children. Doctors diagnose close to 500 children in the U.S. each year with melanoma.

Melanoma warning signs

Melanoma warning signs — often called the A-B-C-D-E's of melanoma — include the following features of a mole:

  • A for asymmetry.
  • B for border irregularity.
  • C for color spectrum.
  • D for diameter (the size of a mole is bigger than an eraser on a pencil, or about 1/4 of an inch).
  • E for evolving.

These signs may not always appear in children with melanoma.

New, changing, or unusual skin findings are reasonable to assess. For example, pediatric melanoma may present as a bleeding mole or red bump.

Diagnosing and treating children with melanoma and related atypical moles requires an experienced team.

At the Pediatric Melanoma Center, our experts base your child's treatment on the unique features of the tumor. We also regard the needs of the child and family.

Pediatric Melanoma Center Referral and Contact Information

Lauren E. Kirk, Administrative Coordinator - Melanoma Team
Pediatric Melanoma Center
Phone: 412-235-1159
Fax: 412-692-4705