As we approach summer, I thought I would put up a post about younger people and skin cancer. According to several studies, skin cancer is rising quickly among the group from teens to late 30s. This includes the more deadly form of cancer called melanoma, which is also growing among younger people. This is partly because teens and young adults are frequent users of tanning beds, even though they are classified as “cancer causing” by the World Health Organization. Some highlights of the studies include:
- Early burns create a higher lifetime risk for skin cancer.
- Tanning beds are a problem because they have concentrated UV rays.
- Melanoma rates among 18-39 year olds have increased 6-fold over 40 years.
- Women had an even faster rate of skin cancer increase, rising 8-fold!
- Those who use tanning beds are 70% more likely to develop melanoma (see link #2 below).
Overall, the studies add to previous ones that show troubling growth in skin cancer, especially for those who feel that looking good is more important than their health. Ironically, those at greatest risk for skin cancer are lighter-skinned, the very ones who probably feel pressured to look more tan! Hopefully, more education will help to reverse this troubling skin cancer rise.
Please consider a sunscreen with a SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 30 if you are fair-skinned and avoid the mid-day sun if possible.
Do mole checks several times a year (monthly if you spend hours in the sun or use tanning beds), and use a mirror to look at areas like your shoulders, neck and backside. If you notice a mole or other discoloration, is the color variegated and blotchy? Is the shape irregular? Is it larger in diameter than a pencil eraser (about 1/4″)? If so, please see a dermatologist for an exam!
There are other things you can do to take action. As a Health Coach, I can work with you to map out the most workable alternatives and lifestyle changes to improve your immune system, lower risk and promote healing!
For more info, see links:
© 2012 by Steve Carney/End Sickness Now