to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most common of all cancers,
accounting for nearly half of all cancers in the United States.
On Tuesday, the
U.S. surgeon general—an alumnus of the University of Cincinnati residency
program in dermatology—issued a call to action to prevent the disease, calling
it a major public health problem that requires immediate action; as a result, the
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has set five goals for communities
to decrease the risk of skin cancer, including providing shade at parks, schools
and other public spaces and reducing indoor tanning.
Institute skin cancer experts support this initiative, as they see the
detriment caused by the sun every day.
Adam Ingraffea, MD, who is also a clinical assistant professor and associate
program director in UC’s department of dermatology and UC Health dermatologist,
says tanning beds are particularly dangerous. He says he sees an ever-increasing
number of young women with skin cancer who have a history of indoor tanning.
study published in the Journal of the
American Medical Association (JAMA) states that the number of skin cancer
cases due to tanning is higher than the number of lung cancer cases due to
smoking,” he says. "In the U.S. alone, 419,254 cases of skin cancer can be
attributed to indoor tanning. Out of this number, 6,199 are melanoma cases, the
most dangerous type of skin cancer.
He says many
countries around the world and several states have banned indoor tanning for
minors under the age of 18.
"There is no
safe amount of indoor tanning, just is there is no safe number of cigarettes.”
Sussman, MD, professor and surgical oncology division chief at the UC College
of Medicine and UC Health surgical oncologist, says he hopes that community
members will take this warning seriously.
ago, the surgeon general warned that tobacco can cause cancer, and almost
everyone accepts this as fact, even if many unfortunately continue to smoke,” he says. "Hopefully, people will learn the dangers of tanning beds and UV radiation exposure more quickly than the dangers of tobacco to stop or reduce their risk for skin cancer development.
are seeing more young patients in their 20s, 30s, and 40s with melanoma who use
tanning beds. In addition to preventing cancer by avoiding harmful UV rays,
people will benefit with younger looking skin. Melanoma, a
cancer that even at a few millimeters thick, can spread and kill."