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New Research on Genetic Changes in Melanomas and Teens' Use of Indoor Tanning Could Lead to Better Prevention and Treatment Strategies
Date:7/30/2008

netic changes. For example, Dr. Weinstock explained that a melanoma that occurs on the face of an older person with extensive sun exposure will have a different genetic make-up than a melanoma found on the back or trunk area of a younger person with more limited exposure to UV light. From this greater understanding of the genetic characteristics of different types of melanomas, Dr. Weinstock suggested that further research could show which preventative behaviors at different ages could help decrease the incidence of age-related melanomas.

A greater understanding of the relationship between UV exposure and melanoma could lead to more implications for treatment and preventive measures. For example, Dr. Weinstock noted that the oncology community is hopeful that a specific chemotherapy could be developed in the future that would target each type of melanoma based on where they occur on the body and their genetic characteristics.

"The better we understand the different types of melanoma, the more we can direct our therapies and prevention efforts," said Dr. Weinstock. "Since these new therapies won't be available anytime soon, it's still important for people to protect their skin from UV radiation from the sun and tanning beds."

Influences on Teens' Use of Indoor Tanning

Despite its link to both melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma, indoor tanning is big business. In fact, published reports indicate that the indoor tanning industry has an estimated revenue of $5 billion, a fivefold increase from 1992. The prevalence of indoor tanning among older U.S. teen girls is as high as 40 percent.

A multi-component project to identify the factors that influence the likelihood of indoor tanning known as CITY 100 (Correlates of Indoor Tanning in Youth) examined the environmental, policy and individual level variables that may be related to teens' use of indoor tanning in 100 of the most populous U.S. cities. The primary component used to gather dat
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SOURCE American Academy of Dermatology
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