Did you know that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States? More than 3.5 million skin cancers in over two million people are diagnosed annually. Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common form of skin cancer, followed by Melanoma, which 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. Facts to know about tanning:
- Frequent tanners using new high-pressure sunlamps may receive as much as 12 times the annual UVA dose compared to the dose they receive from sun exposure. 1
- Ten minutes in a sunbed matches the cancer-causing effects of 10 minutes in the Mediterranean summer sun. 2
- Indoor ultraviolet (UV) tanners are 74 percent more likely to develop melanoma than those who have never tanned indoors. 3
- People who use tanning beds are 2.5 times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma and 1.5 times more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma. 4
What can you do to prevent skin cancer:
- Do not burn
- Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths
- Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen
- Examine your skin
2. World Health Organization. Sunbeds. World Health Organization. 2010. Link. Accessed October 25, 2010.
3. Lazovich D, Vogel RI, Berwick M, Weinstock MA, Anderson KE, Warshaw EM. Indoor tanning and risk of melanoma: a case-control study in a highly-exposed population. Cancer Epidem Biomar Prev 2010 June; 19(6):1557-1568.
4. Karagas MR, Stannard VA, Mott LA, Slattery MJ, Spencer SK, and Weinstock MA. Use of tanning devices and risk of basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers. J Natl Cancer Inst 2002; 94:224; doi:10.1093/jnci/94.3.224.