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Tanning Bed Use and the Risk of Melanoma
Posted by Dr. Joshua Fox

Tanning Bed Use and the Risk of Melanoma
Posted by Dr. Joshua Fox on March 3, 2015

Doctor inspected patient molesThe American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network is working to organize support for lawmakers to take up tanning bed issues in 2016. The UV radiation from tanning beds is a significant factor in the risk of getting skin cancer. Along with this, the number of adolescents and teenagers using tanning beds has increased dramatically over the past 20 years. Nine states already have laws that ban the use of tanning beds by anyone younger than 18 years old. Tanning bed use has been directly connected to the development of skin cancer, increasing melanoma risk by 75%.

Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer but the possibility of effective treatment is very high if it is detected early. Always look for moles that change size, shape, or color, or that have an irregular border and have them looked at by an experienced dermatologist. Regular skin checks are a good idea whether you think a mole is suspicious or not. You may not be able to tell if a mole is dangerous yourself. The earlier the diagnosis can be made the better.

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that those diagnosed with a melanoma had an increased risk for a second diagnosis and the risk increased with each case diagnosed. This is a good reason to get checked regularly if you have had a previous melanoma diagnosis since your chances of a second occurrence are higher.

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