The Skin Cancer Foundation Journal

MAY 2015

The 2012 edition of The Skin Cancer Foundation Journal features medically reviewed, reader-friendly articles such as tanning, the increasing incidence of skin cancer diagnoses among young women, & the prevalence of melanoma among white males over 50.

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n recent years, colleges have taken actions—from anti-tobacco policies to safe sex education—to promote the health and well-being of their student populations. But many have a blind spot, continuing to endorse the use of ultraviolet (UV) tanning beds. In 2013, in more than half of the nation's top colleges (the 125 top universities in the US News and World Report rankings), tanning beds could be found in buildings on campus or in off-campus housing facilities. Our inves- tigative team even found that a significant number of colleges allowed students to pay for tanning services with campus debit cards. 1 WHY THIS IS A BAD THING Based on an extensive body of research, The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an affiliate of the World Health Organization, has placed tanning beds along- side plutonium, asbestos, and sun exposure in its highest class of the world's most virulent carcinogens. 2 Indoor tanning is a known cause of the three most common skin cancers. 3 In fact, a single indoor tanning visit increases users' chances of developing melanoma by 20%, with each additional session in the same year increasing risk by two percent. 4 Furthermore, studies have shown that tanning especially increases the risk of skin cancer for young people: for those between ages 18 and 29 who have tanned indoors and developed melanoma, 76% of the cases were attributable to tanning bed use. 5 The numbers are equally alarming for basal cell carcinoma (BCC). A 2012 study found that women who had used indoor tanning beds six times per year during high school or college had a 73% increased risk of developing BCC. 6 Despite the well-documented risks, these devices continue to be popular among young people, especially young females: 70% of the 28 million Americans who use tanning salons are women ages 16 to 28. 7 The Surgeon General's 2014 Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer specifically highlighted UV tanning on college campuses as a reason for increasing skin cancer rates. 8 SUPPORTING A HARMFUL HABIT The problem is, most tanners start early; it is precisely during the high school and college years when young people may initiate this dangerous practice. While recent state tan- ning bed restrictions for minors (i.e., 12 states and the District of Columbia have banned in- door tanning for youths under age 18) have significantly reduced tanning by adolescents, 9 when young adults enter college this progress CAMPUS TANNING BEDS COULD BE KILLING YOUR KIDS KILLER TANS ON CAMPUS | Sherry L. Pagoto, PhD, Robert Dellavalle, MD, PhD, and colleagues THE FACTS: TANNING BEDS WILL GREATLY INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF DEVELOPING SKIN CANCER I

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