Tanning Bed Ban Could Bring Down Skin Cancer Rates

A tanning bed ban could reduce skin cancer rates, according to new research on the matter. The research found that indoor tanning seriously increases basal cell cancer (BCC) rates in young people.

About 25 percent of cases involving the most prevalent form of skin cancer in people under the age of 40, said The Daily Mail, could be avoided if a ban were placed on tanning beds, according to emerging research. The research, said The Daily Mail, found that those using tanning beds are 69 percent likelier to develop BCC before turning 40, versus people who never used a tanning bed. The risk was more prevalent in women and appeared to increase with years of tanning bed use. This study was conducted by doctors at Yale University and appears in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

As we wrote, the Yale study revealed that “Indoor tanning was strikingly common in our study of young skin cancer patients, especially in the women, which may partially explain why 70 percent of early-onset BCCs (basal cell carcinomas) are in females,” said Susan T. Mayne, senior study author and a professor at the School of Public Health. The findings support prior research from the University of Minnesota, in which it was found that people who used tanning beds—no matter what type of bed or for how long they tanned—were 74 percent likelier to develop melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer.

When diagnosed early, BCC can be treated and has a survival rate of 98 percent, said The Daily Mail. But, although more treatable than the rarer and more virulent malignant melanoma, BCC has been on the rise with rates increasing 17 percent since the 1970s, said The Daily Mail. Sadly, BCCs are on the rise what The Daily Mail described as “youngsters”; however, this April tanning bed use was banned for people under 18.

The team interviewed 750 people who were under 40 years of age and analyzed the type of tanning beds they used, for how long and how often they tanned, any burns they suffered, and the age at which they first started tanning. The research revealed that cancer risks increased with the number of years they used tanning beds.

We recently wrote that evidence linking tanning bed use to the development of skin cancer continues to mount. We also reported that, according to the American Association for Cancer Research, a study revealed a connection between tanning beds and three common skin cancers: BCC, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.

We’ve long followed reports surrounding the many dangers linked to the use of tanning beds, writing that people who regularly tan on these devices run the risk of doubling, even tripling, their risks of developing melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer.

Melanoma is one of the most common cancers among young adults in the United States and is on the rise in all age groups. More than three-quarters of all skin cancer-related deaths are from melanoma and about one person dies of melanoma every hour in the United States.

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