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Tanning and The Risk of Cancer

Since 1997, the rates of melanoma have increased by a little over 2% each year for both men and women. Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. It is responsible for the highest number of deaths due to a skin disease. In addition, it spreads very quickly. For small affected areas, the usual treatment is removal of the cancer cells and surrounding tissue. For areas larger than 4 mm, there is a high risk that the cancer will spread to other tissues and organs.

According to DeAnn Lazovich, a lead researcher of a recent University of Minnesota study, the risk of melanoma is a staggering 74% higher for those who use tanning beds than those who do not. In addition, people who tan for approximately 10 years or more are 2.5 to 3 times more likely to develop melanoma. The full study was published in the recent issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

The study revealed that among the 1200 interviewees with melanoma, 63% had used tanning beds. The study also revealed that the risk for melanoma was significant regardless of whether the tanning beds used UVA and UVB rays versus UVA rays only. However, for tanning bed users of beds that used solely UVA rays, the melanoma risk increased 4.4 times.

These results were consistent across gender and age. Lazovich stated that for young women, who often spend time tanning, appreciating the risk of melanoma associated with regular tanning bed use is particularly important. According to the study, melanoma is the second most common cause of cancer in young women and that risk seems to be increasing.

In early 2010, an advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration suggested that the FDA increase the regulation of tanning beds by requiring increased warning labels for tanning beds, changing regulations, and requiring parental consent for those under 18.


These types of studies and FDA suggestions are useful in a products liability lawsuit.  They often help demonstrate causation-that in the particular plaintiff's case, a tanning bed caused melanoma. 

If you developed melanoma and regularly used tanning beds, contact a Philadelphia and New Jersey personal injury lawyer who can talk to you about your options for filing an injury claim and help to fight for compensation. We will provide a free, no obligation consultation on your case. 1-877-944-8396


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