Melanoma risk runs high for indoor tanners

Professor Mary Maloney warns of link between skin cancer and tanning beds

By Lisa M. Larson

UMass Medical School Communications

July 03, 2013

Melanoma has become the most common form of cancer among people ages 25 to 29 and Professor Mary Maloney, MD, director of dermatologic surgery and spokeswoman for the American Academy of Dermatology, says tanning beds are to blame.

With about 2.3 million teens using tanning beds every year and raising their risk of the deadliest form of skin cancer, Massachusetts and dozens of other states are mulling bans on the devices for anyone under 18. California and Vermont already ban minors from using them, and Connecticut follows suit this fall with a new law prohibiting them for children 17 and under.

“The science is clear,” Maloney told the New York Times this spring. “The risk of developing melanoma increases 75 percent for individuals who have been exposed to ultraviolet radiation from indoor tanning.”

Learn more about the risks associated with tanning beds in this Expert’s Corner video.