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Tanning Bed Use Linked to Melanoma

A healthy, glowing tan might not be as healthy as some think – even if it comes courtesy of a tanning bed. A recent study shed light on the potential dangers of frequent tanning bed use, especially in regard to women under the age of 40.

To shed light on a potential connection between tanning bed use and melanoma, researchers conducted a study involving nearly 700 men and women diagnosed with melanoma. A larger percentage of the study population was female. All were between the ages of 25 and 49. Researchers ultimately found that women diagnosed with melanoma under the age of 40 were more likely to report frequent tanning bed use. Those who began using tanning beds in their early years were about six times more likely to develop the disease.

Melanoma is considered the deadliest form of skin cancer. While the disease is considered rare overall, its incident rate is rising. The growth in diagnosis, in fact, tends to involve women under the age of 50. This is also the group that most commonly reports frequent, regular tanning bed use.

Researchers, concerned about the rising melanoma rates, urge women and men alike to understand their personal risks for developing skin cancer. Tanning bed use is not the only risk factor for this disease. Direct exposure to harsh UV light from the sun can also enhance risk greatly.

Indoor tanning, the study showed, can dramatically increase a user’s risk for developing melanoma. This is especially so if the practice begins in the younger years and is repeated on a frequent basis. Reducing or eliminating tanning from the routine may prove beneficial.

Women and men who are concerned about skin cancer are urged to talk with their healthcare providers. Routine screening can lead to early detection and effective treatment. Doctors can also offer advice for reducing personal risks in other ways.

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