Tanning Devices Responsible For Increasing Number Of Skin Cancer Cases In US, Report Suggests


Skin cancer is one of the most common causes of skin-related diseases in the United States. One of the major reasons for the rise of this disease is the use of indoor tanning technique.

Dr. Hugh Waters, along with his colleagues from the University of North Carolina conducted a study and established how the use of indoor tanning devices leads to skin cancer. According to the researchers, in 2015, about 263,600 cases of skin cancer were reported due to indoor tanning.

The medical cost required for the treatment of skin cancer in the United States is estimated to be $343.1 million, which in turn causes an economic loss of $127 billion.

How Does Indoor Tanning Cause Skin Cancer?

Evidence gathered by the research suggests that tanning devices emit two types of ultraviolet rays, namely UV-A and UV-B.

The UV-A radiations lead to damage of the cell and DNA, thus causing skin cancer to appear in the first place. The UV-B radiations are known to cause burning, which in turn leads to the development of skin cancer. Apart from skin cancers, numerous other serious ailments like keratitis, porokeratosis, as well as dermatitis are all the results of indoor tanning.

How Was The Research Conducted?

Dr. Waters and his team focused on three types of skin cancer, namely cutaneous melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. For the purpose of the research, the team analyzed the total number of skin cancer cases in 2015 and evaluated how many of those were a result of the use of tanning devices.

The team of researchers performed their analysis based on two assumptions, using data related to the use of tanning and early reports pointing out the risk factors of these devices.

The research was done to check the results of skin cancers in those who used this device, compared with those who didn't use it. According to the research, there were 9,000 cases of melanoma, 86,600 cases of squamous cell carcinoma, and 168,000 cases of basal cell carcinoma, all of which were due to the use of tanning devices.

Healthcare Costs

After analyzing the number of cases reported with the use of tanning devices, the team went on to research the total estimated healthcare cost required to cure these cancer cases. Based on the results, an estimated value of $343.1 million was required every year to cure these skin cancers.

In spite of the occurrence of these deadly diseases and the huge amount of losses suffered by the medical department, the use of tanning devices and the number of tanning salons (25,000 estimated salons) have increased rapidly in the past 20 years.

About 30 million people are assumed to use a tanning device once in a year, despite knowing very well the threats the device carries.

The study has been published in the Journal of Cancer Policy.

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