Happy Melanoma Monday

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What is our PROBLEM? Apparently we can’t get it through our heads that tanning isn’t a healthy habit. According to a new survey from the American Academy of Dermatology, a significant percentage of young women went out of their way to use tanning beds or tan outdoors in the last year.

With all the news coverage that’s been hitting us over the head lately, these results are pretty scary. According to a release on the study, “Thirty-two percent of respondents had used a tanning bed in the past year, and of those respondents, one-fourth (25 percent) used a tanning bed at least weekly, on average. An overwhelming majority (81 percent) of all respondents reported that they had tanned outdoors either frequently or occasionally in the past year.”

Deemed a known carcinogen by both the United States Department of Health and Human Services and the World Health Organization’s International Agency of Research on Cancer panel, ultraviolet light from tanning beds can increase risk of melanoma by up to 75 percent. With approximately 75 percent of skin cancer deaths coming from melanoma, this is serious business. So who is ignoring it?

According to the study, indoor tanning was twice as likely among young women ages 18 to 22 (40 percent of respondents) than it was for teens ages 14 to 17 (22 percent of respondents).

Whether you’re in this age group or not, today is a good day to give yourself a thorough skin exam. Designated by the AAD, today is considered Melanoma Monday. For more information on self-skin exams and free skin cancer screenings near you, visit melanomamonday.org.

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