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TANNING-bed-causes-skin-cancerStudy Shows Tanning Booths Cause Skin Cancer.

A new 2012 study has revealed that over 170,000 cases of skin cancer strike indoor tanners each year. The tanning bed cancer is called non-melanoma and is the most common type of skin cancer that affects Americans. While not a fatal form of cancer, this type of skin cancer can disfigure. 

The ultraviolet rays of the tanning bed damage the DNA, resulting in a tan. Currently, the United States has roughly 19,000 tanning beds. Researchers have determined that tanning beds have contributed to over 72,000 skin cancer cases of squamous cell carcinoma and 98,000 cases of basal cell carcinoma.

Tanning Beds and Skin Cancer Study

Noted as the most in-depth studies to date, researchers pored over 12 previous studies, which involved more than 9,300 people with skin cancer (non-melanoma). Careful analysis revealed that when non-tanners and tanners were compared, those that used tanning beds were 67 percent more likely to get squamous cell carcinoma and 29 percent more at risk for basal cell carcinoma.

Patients that tanned in tanning beds before age 25 are at higher risk for basal cell carcinoma, a skin cancer that grows slowly over the years and shows up in US people age 40 and over. Europe and Australia have already placed limits or bans on indoor tanning for teenagers and children. It is the goal of the study to get the United States on board in implementing the same limitations.

The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has determined that tanning beds and lamps (UV-emitting devices) are a carcinogen to humans.

Signs of Skin Cancer

All skin cancers begin as subtle changes to your skin.The changes can be called pre-cancerous lesions or new growths. Estimates are that 40-50% of people who are fair-skinned will develop some form of skin cancer by age 65.

1. Actinic Keratosis or Solar Keratosis

This is a small patch of skin that is scaly that is caused by excessive sun exposure. Actinic Keratosis is commonly is found on the neck, head or hands. It is possible that this patch can turn into skin cancer, although most don’t. However, doctors recommend treating the patch to reduce risk. Fair-skinned and light-eyed people are at greatest risk.

2. Actinic Cheilitis (Farmer’s Lip)

This is a pre-cancerous condition that is present on the lips (most likely the lower), and can be a scaly or rough patch. Other symptoms are swelling of the lip, more prominent lip lines or diminished border of the lip and skin.

3. Cutaneous Horns

This is what looks like a wart that is funnel-shaped and has grown from a red part of the skin. Most are a few millimeters in length, although they can be any size. This type of cancer usually strikes elderly adults who are fair-skinned and have a history of sun exposure.

4. Moles

We all know we should watch our moles. The moles that could become skin cancer are found in sun-exposed areas. Suspicious moles may be as large as a quarter inch or have irregular borders. They can be raised or flat into the skin, smooth or rough in nature. Typically moles in question are mixed colors such as red, brown, pink or tan. So remember, A-B-C-D:

  • Asymmetry- Look to make sure the mole is completely circular and even on both sides
  • Border- If the border does not have a clear distinction between mole and skin, get it checked
  • Color- Any redness, pink, or tan colored mole should be checked
  • Diameter- They say anything larger than a pencil eraser should be checked
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