Melanoma Cases Increase Among Young Adults

After reviewing 40 years of cancer cases, Mayo Clinic reported this week that melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, has increased eight-fold for young women and four-fold for young men in their 20s and 30s.

The researchers looked at health records dating back to the 1970s in Olmstead County, MA, and while the number of cases has increased, deaths have decreased, thanks to awareness and earlier detection.

Tanning beds are a likely culprit, the researchers warn, as women make up about 70 percent of all tanning bed users. In fact, in people age 20 to 24, melanoma cases were two to one, women over men.

Because such a strong connection has been made between skin cancer and tanning beds, many states are working to restrict use of tanning beds for people under age 18. California is the first state to enact a law. However, officials feel that regulating tanning bed use among minors may be as challenging as keeping cigarettes out of their hands.

“There are efforts already to ban tanning beds in certain statea-32 of 50 states already have some kind of restriction,” lead investigator Dr. Jerry Brewer, MD, a Mayo Clinic dermatologist said at a news conference. “But if you tell kids they need their parents' signatures, they'll go home and sign it themselves. It's like trying to ban cigarettes. It's very difficult.”

Have you opted for other ways to get glowing, beautiful skin rather than resorting to the sun or a tanning-bed? We suggest a self-tanner with moisturizing properties to get a glow without putting your health at risk.