In a report published in the May 2010 issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, people who use tanning beds to keep that year-round glow are dramatically increasing their risk for developing melanoma, the deadliest of skin cancers.
According to health.msn.com, a new study shows that the more you tan and the longer you tan, the more the risk increases. Researchers found that the risk of melanoma was 74 percent higher in persons who tanned indoors than in persons who did not. In addition, they also found that people who tanned indoors a lot (a total of at least 50 hours of tanning bed exposure, or more than 100 sessions, or at least 10 years of regular tanning bed use) were 2.5 to 3 times more likely to develop melanoma than people who had never tanned indoors.
In the study among 1,167 people with melanoma, almost two-thirds (63 percent) had used tanning beds and among those who used tanning beds, the risk for developing melanoma rose 74 percent.
Lead researcher DeAnn Lazovich, an associate professor at the division of epidemiology and community health at the University of Minnesota was amazed at how consistent the results of the tests were and noted that the danger is particularly acute amongst young women who seem to have a penchant for indoor tanning.
“Indoor tanning is an underappreciated problem, especially among young women. More young women tan indoors than smoke cigarettes, and melanoma is the second most common cancer diagnosed in young women,” she said. “And there is evidence that the incidence of melanoma is increasing in young women. It’s time to pay a little more attention to this as a risk factor that is avoidable.”
In March, international cancer experts reported that the ultraviolet radiation from tanning beds is now among the top cancer risks – ranking as high and lethal as arsenic, cigarettes and mustard gas. As a result, an advisory panel to the U.S Food and Drug Administration recommended that the agency add bolder warning labels to tanning beds, change how they are regulated by the FDA and require parental consent for users aged 18 and under
Since the study has been announced, a number of tanning salons have noticed a decline in memberships and many young people have decided to forego using tanning beds on a regular basis.