A study by the International Agency for Research on Cancer reveals that “those who use tanning beds are at high risk for developing melanoma and the risk increases in proportion with use.” This claim appeared in a report by HemOnc Today. www.hemonctoday.com In fact, those who used indoor tanning devices were a whopping 74% more likely to develop melanoma, which can be a fatal form of cancer, than those who had never used a tanning bed.
Whether evaluated based on total hours, years, or sessions of indoor tanning, the researchers came to the same conclusion that the risk of melanoma was certainly increased. The highest category of use was defined as 50 or more hours, 100 or more sessions, or 10 or more years. Those in that grouping were found to be 2.5 to 3 times more likely to develop melanoma than those who had never tanned indoors.
In another study, researchers recruited participants from the Minnesota Cancer Surveillance System and compared those with a control group. The study found that the risk for melanoma correlated with the frequency of use. Researchers also discovered that the potential for melanoma was “highest among those who had tanned for 10 or more years compared with those who had only been tanning for one year.”
Canada and the United Kingdom have banned indoor tanning for those under 18, and the FDA has also considered similar measures. However, the studies’ findings show that the risk for melanoma is just as high when tanning begins later in life. As the data linking tanning beds to cancer continues to mount, so do the number of cases of melanoma. Despite the numbers, tanning supporters claim the researchers are biased and that their studies reflect their opinions. The link seems to be fairly clear, though, and it seems better to be safe. There are many things in life I do not understand. One is why people smoke; another is how anyone can eat olives; and another is why people use tanning beds. With all the sunless tanning products available these days, who needs a dangerous tanning bed?