The rates of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, are increasing exponentially, with research presented at the American Academy of Dermatology Summer Meeting reporting an 800% increase between 1970 and 2009 among women aged 18 to 39 years.
Basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma rates have also increased by 145% and 263%, respectively, according to a press release from the AAD.
“This data reveals the disproportionate rise in the number of skin cancers in women and the need for further education regarding UV exposure,” M. Laurin Council, MD, FAAD, FACMS, an associate professor of dermatology at Washington University in St. Louis, said in the press release.
Of particular concern is the use of indoor tanning devices by white girls and young women. Researchers estimate it may cause more than 400,000 cases of skin cancer in the U.S. every year. One indoor tanning session is capable of increasing a user’s lifetime risk for developing melanoma by 20%, squamous cell carcinoma by 67% and basal cell carcinoma by 29%, according to the release. Indoor tanning before age 35 years can increase one’s risk for melanoma by 59% and increases with each use.
Council said the easiest way to prevent skin cancer is for parents to discuss limiting UV exposure with their children.