Believe it or not, 1 in 5 of our readers will get skin cancer in their lifetime. That is an amazing statistic! Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, with more instances of melanoma than breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer combined. According to Dr. Susan Evans during a recent interview with ABC News, there will be 1 million cases of skin cancer reported this year.
What is happening and why is our attention coming to it today?
Skin cancer conditions are being realized earlier. The instances of skin cancer are being diagnosed and treated more frequently in younger patients. There is speculation that the reason for this early onset of skin cancer and skin cancer symptoms is the result of tanning bed usage by younger generations.
The FDA is considering new guidelines regarding tanning bed usage. Today, most spas and tanning salons inform users of the hazards and the importance of UV protective eye coverings and lotions. The FDA plans to require signage warning of the dangers of skin cancer, premature aging, cataracts and suppression of the immune system that can result from sun exposure.
In response, John Overstreet, Executive Director of the Indoor Tanning Association says: “Business is already going further than what FDA requires to make sure that people are aware of the risks”. Often, salons ask customers to read and sign a waiver and may even have posters warning of potential dangers of extended tanning bed exposure including burn.
Tanning beds are very popular with teenagers who want to ‘look good’ in that dress for the dance, swim suit season or prom. Dr. Evans states that this early exposure with tanning bed usage will increase the possibility of contracting skin cancer 75 percent.
She urges everyone to see a dermatologist if there is a suspicious mole and or any skin condition that is a change from ‘normal’.
A dermatologist should be in your skin’s health care plan in addition to sunscreen, hats and sunglasses.