Mark. A. Bechtel, Md., a dermatologist in Ohio, recently wrote an editorial for the Marietta Times voicing his concern about the rise in number of teens with skin cancer.
According to Dr. Bechtel, "skin cancer has become an epidemic in the U.S. with more than one million new skin cancers will be diagnosed this year alone." He goes on to say that the American Cancer Society reports that one American dies every 62 minutes from melanoma, which is the deadliest form of skin cancer. In other words, it's not something to take lightly.
"As a physician, I am alarmed by the increase in the number of my young patients presenting with melanoma and other serious skin cancers caused by excessive exposure to hazardous ultraviolet tanning bed radiation. Several years ago, I had to comfort a young mother who was dying of malignant melanoma in a hospice unit. She had been a frequent tanning bed user. Now, she was dying with her three month old baby in her arms," says Dr. Bechtel.
He says that malignant melanoma is the leading cause of cancer deaths in women between 25 and 30 years of age. Yet, teen use of tanning beds is still on the rise.
We have reported on the risks of indoor tanning in several previous blog posts. But we'd like to know, why do you think the use of tanning beds continues to be an issue, despite all the evidence that it can be harmful to your skin? Let us know in the comments below.