Female skin cancer spikes 800 percent; increase reveals alarming tanning trends

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The most common cancer in the United States has spiked 800 percent among women, and indoor tanning may play a large role in that increase, according to new research.

The research was presented at the 2019 American Academy of Dermatology Summer Meeting, according to the American Academy of Dermatology website. it shows that between 1970 and 2009, rates of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, went up 800 percent among women between the ages of 18 and 39.

Basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma rates also increased by 145 percent and 263 percent.

“Because there’s a delay between UV exposure and when skin cancer appears, most women don’t think it will happen to them,” said Washington University Dr. M. Laurin Council.”This data reveals the disproportionate rise in the number of skin cancers in women and the need for further education regarding UV exposure.”

Indoor tanning by Caucasian girls and young women “is of particular focus.” It could cause more than 400,000 cases of skin cancer in the U.S. each year. One indoor tanning session can increase a person’s risk of developing melanoma by 20 percent, and the risk increases for those who indoor tan before the age of 35.

Council recommends seeking shade, wearing protective clothing and regularly applying sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Parents should also talk to their kids about indoor tanning devices, she said.

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