Why is tanning dangerous?
As many as 90% of melanomas are estimated to be caused by ultraviolet (UV) exposure. This includes UV exposure from the sun and from artificial sources, such as tanning beds. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies tanning beds and tanning lamps into its highest cancer risk category – carcinogenic to humans, the same category as other hazardous substances such as plutonium and certain types of radium.
Numerous individual studies, including an analysis of several studies combined (meta-analyses), have consistently shown that indoor tanning increases the risk of developing all forms of skin cancer, including melanoma.
Research indicates that just one blistering sunburn can double your chances of developing melanoma later in life. In addition, using tanning beds before age 30 increases your risk of developing melanoma by 75 percent. Occasional use of tanning beds triples your chances. Research also suggests a strong dose-response relationship – meaning the more sessions, hours and years spent tanning, the higher the risk of developing melanoma and other types of skin cancer.
Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old and the second most common form of cancer for young people 15-29 years old. Melanoma is the leading cause of cancer death in women 25-30 years old and the second leading cause of cancer death in women 30-35 years old.
Melanoma Fact Sheet
- Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S.
- Every hour of every day one American dies from melanoma –that’s almost 10,000 people per year.
- In 2017, over 160,000 Americans are expected to be diagnosed with melanoma. Of these, 87,000 will be diagnosed with invasive
- (Stage I, II, III or IV) melanoma and another 74,000 will be diagnosed with melanoma in situ.
- Melanoma is not just a skin cancer. It can develop anywhere on the body – eyes, scalp, nails, feet, mouth, etc.
- Melanoma does not discriminate by age, race or gender. Everyone is at risk.
- Melanoma is the leading cause of cancer death in women ages 25-30 and the second leading cause of cancer death in women ages 30-35.
- In ages 15-29, melanoma is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer.
- The incidence of people under 30 developing melanoma is increasing faster than any other group, soaring by 50% since 1980.
- Approximately 500 American children are diagnosed with melanoma each year.
- Today, there are nearly 1 million people living with melanoma in the U.S.
- The lifetime risk of getting melanoma is about 1 in 40 for Caucasians, 1 in 200 for Hispanics and 1 in 1,000 for African Americans.
- Nearly 90% of melanomas are thought to be caused by exposure to UV light and sunlight.
- It takes only one blistering sunburn, especially at a young age, to more than double a person’s chance of developing melanoma later in life.
- Indoor tanning beds are proven o cause cancer and have been classified into the highest cancer risk category by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC).
- Exposure to tanning beds before age 30 increases a person’s risk of developing melanoma by 75%.
- Young people who regularly use tanning beds are 8 times more likely to develop melanoma than people who have never use them.
- These tips can help protect your skin from too much UV exposure:
- Seek shade when possible.
- Cover up with clothing, sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat.
- Try to avoid being in the sun between 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
- Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF of at least 30 and reapply every two hours.