Study: Melanoma rates increase in young people

Experts say an increase in the use of tanning beds may be contributing to higher melanoma rates. (Photo: Flickr/Evil Erin)

The rate of melanoma, the dangerous form of skin cancer, has increased dramatically among people aged 18-39, Time reports.

What more, experts are pinning those increased rates, at least partially, on the use of tanning beds by people in that age range.

A new study published in April's Mayo Cilnic Proceedings says that melanoma rates in women aged 18-39 increased eightfold between 1970 and 2009. During that same time span, skin cancer rates increased fourfold among the same age range of men.

Time says that researchers in the study, using previous data from studies on skin cancer and tanning behavior, suggest that indoor tanning is linked to the sharp spike in melanoma cases.

Tanning beds were declared a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer three years ago. In February, a Maryland State Senator proposed that tanning should be banned for people under 18.

The Mayo Clinic says that melanoma can be prevented by avoiding contact with midday sun, avoiding tanning beds, using sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 and examining your skin regularly.

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