Study: Young women are getting skin cancer from tanning beds - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Study: Rise in skin cancer cases among young women linked to tanning beds

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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

If you have a daughter, you'll be interested in this! New numbers are in and they show young women are developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, at an alarming rate.

Sadly, Baton Rouge Dermatologist Dr. Amy Shannon isn't surprised. She told WAFB Medical Correspondent Phil Rainier, "The results of this study mirror what we see in our practice."

According to Mayo Clinic the number of melanoma cases in 20 and 30-something women is eight times higher than in earlier studies. According to the Raycom News Network, researchers believe the increased use of tanning beds is the main factor for the rise of skin cancer among young women.

On its web site, the Indoor Tanning Association responded by saying, "there is no consensus among researchers regarding the relationship between melanoma skin cancer and UV exposure either from the sun or a sunbed, despite what the press release would have you believe."

Shannon takes issue with the statement saying the World Health Organization has put tanning beds right up there with smoking and even plutonium "as a cause of cancer."

9News attempted to contact close to a dozen Baton Rouge area tanning bed salons to respond to the Mayo study, but none accepted the offer. Many did say they offer spray-on tans as an alternative to tanning beds.

So why are young women still exposing themselves to cancer causing U-V ray in tanning beds even though doctors have been sounding the alarm for several years now?

"It is a hard tell", Shannon says, "cause they're young and they feel invincible"

Dermatologists say they're not out to slam any industry. They say they just want people to be aware of how damaging UV rays can be whether its from tanning beds or not using sunscreen to guard themselves against UV exposure from the sun.

After that, they emphasize how important it is to know the warning signs of skin cancer and get regular screenings. The earlier it's caught, the successful doctors are likely to be with their treatment.

The Dermatology Clinic will be holding an open house with skin cancer screenings on May 5th.

Copyright 2012 WAFB. All rights reserved.

SIDEBAR: Melanoma warning signs

ABCD's of Melanoma: A sudden or continuous change in the appearance of a mole is a sign that you should see your doctor. The ABCD rule can help you remember the symptoms of melanoma: A for Asymmetry One

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