BEACON TRANSCRIPT – A new study on melanoma, the deadliest form of cancer, has recently been published in JAMA Dermatology. The paper analyzes the link between age group and the probability of developing melanoma. It concludes that indoor tanning increases the risk of melanoma in younger women.
Over the years, there have been several key studies which analyzed the link between skin cancer and exposure to artificial ultraviolet light. But, according to Tina Alster, a professor of dermatology working for the Georgetown University, this is the first study of its kind that actually managed to take a closer look at younger age groups and to recalculate the probability of developing melanoma.
According to the researchers involved in the project, women who are in their 40s and have been diagnosed with acute melanoma, have most likely started to use indoor tanning at a much younger age. We are looking at a group age who started using indoor tanning at ages between 16 and 25 years old.
The medical examiners concluded that the risks of developing melanoma increase exponentially if the participant started to use this tanning technique from a younger age. Thus, women who started using tanning bed from ages 16 to 25 years old are three times more likely to develop melanoma. And women in their 40s are two times more likely to develop this deadly disease.
In order to see if there is indeed a connection between age and the risk of melanoma, the medical researchers working on the project analyzed the health reports of over 600 people from Minnesota. The group was comprised of both men and women, with ages between 25 and 49 years old. According to their data, all of the members involved in this program were diagnosed with melanoma between 2004 and 2007.
The study also pointed out that men are less likely to be diagnosed with melanoma than women. However, when analyzing the health reports, the scientists have discovered that approximately 41 percent of male candidates, with ages between 30 and 39 years old were diagnosed with melanoma. Moreover, the study also noted that in the case of men, the incidence of melanoma increases with ages.
Thus, 49 percent of the male candidates, with ages between 40 and 49 years old, have been diagnosed with the disease, compared to those of younger ages.
The researchers concluded that indoor tanning increases the risk of melanoma in younger women and that the risk in men is marginal.
Based on their findings, the FDA wants to come up with new policies aimed at reducing the incidence of skin cancer in women. Some tanning salons from the US have already adopted a required age policy.