Tanning Beds and Cancer

Skin Cancer In Teens On The Rise, We Can Thank Tanning Beds

Bronzed skin is all the rage is many parts of the United States and while many teenagers find in necessary to keep up with that fashion statement its leading to more cases of teenage skin cancer in young adults.

A study published in the April issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings examined cases from 1970 through 2009 and found that the number of melanoma incidents increased by eight times in young women and four times in young men ages 18 to 39.

While women are typically more likely to experience melanoma in their lifetime, researchers found that men were at a higher risk then previously estimated.

To conduct their survey researchers examined previous studies of tanning behavior to determine when increases in tanning bed use increased and then to link that increase to rises in overall melanoma in younger people.

The study comes after the International Agency of Research on Cancer in 2009 declared tanning beds to be human carcinogen since they can dose a user with seven times the amount of UV radiation they get from the sun.

While melanoma rates are on the rise researchers found that the mortality rate has actually fallen because of better early-detection methods and faster medical procedures.

In the meantime researchers still urge young people and adults to understand the signs of melanoma in case it needs to be treated early.

Here’s Times advice for spotting a cancerous growth:

A — asymmetry: one side of a mole or dark spot looks different from the other side

B — border: instead of being circular or oval, the mole has a jagged edge

C — color: the mole has more than one color, a dark area, a light area or the colors red, white or blue within it

D — diameter: the mole is larger than 6 mm across, roughly the size of a pencil eraser

E — evolution: any other changes are noted in the mole, even if the change can’t be categorized by A, B, C or D, above. Any itching or bleeding in a mole is also important

Are you worried about the effects of tanning beds on your health?