Friday, March 3, 2017

Skin Cancer from Tanning Beds Costs $343 Million per Year - MEDICINE

Indoor tanning has long been tied to skin cancer, the most common type of cancer in the US. It’s estimated that 30 million people, nearly 25 percent of whom are teenagers, head to tanning beds at least once a year.

And the health care costs of the habit can add up, health economists report in a new study published in the Journal of Cancer Policy.

Tanning beds emit UV-A rays, which can damage DNA, and UV-B rays, which can burn the skin and increase the risk of skin cancer. Research has shown that indoor tanning before age 35 raises the risk of melanoma up to 75 percent.

Health care researchers at the University of North Carolina focused on melanoma and two other types of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

The researchers looked at all skin cancer cases in 2015, and then applied data on indoor tanning prevalence and relative risk of skin cancer after using a tanning bed to those numbers. They estimated that there were 263,600 cases of skin cancer in 2015 that could be attributed to the use of tanning beds.

The researchers then summed up the average annual cost of treating patients with each type of cancer, which totaled more than $343 million each year.

Interesting reading via SA:

Corina Marinescu

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