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Promising strategies to reduce use of indoor tanning devices and prevent skin cancer
Date:5/6/2013

San Diego, CA, May 7, 2013 Preventing skin cancer by reducing use of indoor tanning devices requires a coordinated approach at the national, state, and local levels suggests a pair of papers by CDC authors in a special theme issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Evidence has shown that use of indoor tanning devices increases the risk of developing skin cancer, including melanoma, and these papers discuss approaches that could help reduce use of indoor tanning devices and prevent future incidence of skin cancers.

Melanoma is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers among adolescents and young adults in the United States. Skin cancer is an urgent public health problem, with treatment costing an estimated $1.7 billion each year, and costs due to lost productivity estimated at $3.8 billion each year.

"Melanoma causes more deaths than any other skin cancer, over 9,000 deaths each year," says Meg Watson, MPH, of the CDC Division of Cancer Prevention and Control in Atlanta. "And it has been increasing in recent years, particularly among non-Hispanic whites. Indoor tanning before age 35 increases the risk of melanoma by 60%-80% or more, so avoiding or reducing indoor tanning is a simple way to reduce risk of getting or dying from melanoma."

In the first paper, the authors provide an overview of indoor tanning as a risk factor for skin cancer and discuss possible approaches to reducing use of indoor tanning devices. The second paper presents highlights from a meeting on indoor tanning convened by CDC in August 2012 where participants discussed ways to prevent skin cancer, and gaps in research that could be addressed to inform public health action.

In these two papers, the researchers note that:

  • Approximately 32% of white women aged 1821 years have tanned indoors in the past 12 months, with an average of more than 27 sessions per year.
  • Data from the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey in
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Contact: Brianna Lee
eAJPM@ucsd.edu
858-534-9407
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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