Risking your life for a tan?

February 24, 2016 | Cancer Screening, Health

New research finds that women were two to six times more likely to develop melanoma if they had tanned indoors at a younger age (at 16 years old, versus 25) and tanned more frequently.  A new study from the University of Minnesota shows that women under 40 who started indoor tanning at a younger age and tanned more often have a higher risk of being diagnosed with melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.  Researchers looked at the relationship between melanoma in younger adults and indoor tanning because they were seeing an increasing number of women and men under age 50 diagnosed with melanoma.  Of particular interest were younger women’s indoor tanning habits because rates of skin cancer are rising notably in this population.

Tanning beds expose skin to damaging UVA and UVB rays at a rate similar or more so than the sun in some cases.  This particular study highlights the need to address indoor tanning among young women and reducing exposure to UV radiation from indoor tanning is pivotal.

Currently, indoor tanning for children under the age of 18 would be banned under a proposal made by the Food and Drug Administration.  The proposed rule is online and available for public comment until March 21, 2016. The American Academy of Pediatrics backed the proposal noting there is no safe level of tanning bed use for young people.  Like smoking and drinking, adults and adolescents need to be clearly told that tanning bed use is definitively linked to skin cancer. It’s time for us to weigh in and discuss the impact policies like this have on reducing the incidence of melanoma for our area youth.

To read the proposed rule and comment, go to www.Regulations.gov