Indoor Tanning May Increase Melanoma Risks

Skin cancer in its various types is one of the most commonly diagnosed forms of this disease in the United States. Long linked to overexposure to the sun’s harmful rays, this disease is highly preventable in many cases. While using sun block and avoiding burns are the most common recommendations for prevention, new research is shedding light on something else to avoid. It seems indoor tanning beds have been strongly connected to an increased melanoma risk in those who opt for this alternative for gaining darker colored skin.

The most recent study related to this topic found that women under the age of 30 who used tanning beds were about six times more likely to be diagnosed with melanoma than others. The research strongly points to a need for caution in those who seek alternative means to gain a tan.

To arrive at their findings, researchers focused in on nearly 700 patients who were diagnosed with melanoma between 2004 and 2007. Another 650 control patients were included in the study, as well. All study participants were between the ages of 25 and 49. Men were included in the study, but women, the predominate users of tanning beds, made up about 68 percent of each group. The researchers found men were much less likely to use beds for tanning.

Another interesting finding that that about 30 percent of the women diagnosed with melanoma prior to the age of 30 saw their cancer originate on the trunk.

Skin cancer is generally considered highly preventable if people take care about their levels of UV exposure. The study, however, points to a need for those who use indoor tanning beds to limit their exposure to help prevent melanoma. The study did not look at the length of exposure involved prior to melanoma diagnosis.

Anyone who has been over-exposed to the sun is technically at risk for the development of skin cancer in its various forms. To find out more, be sure to speak with a healthcare provider. Visual screening can lead to early detection of this disease and potentially lifesaving treatments.

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