One of the most frequently searched questions on Google is: is tanning safe in moderation? In the Spring 2017 issue of Cancer Today, Dr. DeAnn Lazovich of the University of Michigan shares her insights. In the United States, about 1 out of every 50 people will be diagnosed with melanoma – the most aggressive form of skin cancer – in their lifetime.
These melanomas are one of the most common types of cancer diagnosed in young adults, particularly in young women. Dr. Lazovich and her colleagues analyzed data from nearly 1000 female patients aged 25 to 49. “What was so surprising to us was the fact that nearly every single one of the women who had melanoma before age 30 reported tanning”. For men in their 40s, tanning was also found to be associated with increased risk of melanoma. There was no clear association for men at younger ages, likely because relatively few men under 40 were diagnosed with melanoma or reported tanning.
While tanning is only one factor that contributes to melanoma rates in adults, Lazovich says, it’s an easy source of risk to eliminate. “Tanning is totally something that people can choose not to do”.
Even a ‘base tan’ is not safe in our harsh Florida sunshine. Please remember to wear your sunblock every day this summer. If you need to stock up for you and your loved ones, come into the office during any business hours.