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Study finds dramatic rise in skin cancer among young adults

Consumer Reports News: April 02, 2012 04:53 PM

Even as the rates of some cancers are falling, the Mayo Clinic is seeing a dramatic rise in skin cancer among people under age 40.

Published today in the April issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, the study found an even higher incidence than the National Cancer Institute had reported, and in particular, a dramatic rise of melanoma cases in women in their 20s and 30s. The study's authors suggest that indoor tanning is a key culprit in the rising cancer rate among young women.

We encourage you to take a pass on tanning beds and fake it with any number of FDA-approved self-tanning products. And to keep from frying when you're out in the sun, check out our latest sunscreen Ratings (available to subscribers).

Buy a sunscreen with SPF of at least 30, and if you can't find one of our recommended sunscreens, at the very least pick a broad-spectrum water-resistant one that claims to protect against both UVA and UVB rays—both are linked to skin cancer.

See our advice for preventing skin cancer and what to look for when doing a mole check, and be sure to check back before Memorial Day for our annual "sun"-sational sunscreen guide.

Previously:
Skip the sunburn on spring break
Risk of tanning beds may be greater than previously thought

Increasing Incidence of Melanoma Among Young Adults: An Epidemiological Study in Olmsted County, Minnesota [Mayo Clinic Proceedings]

Maggie Shader

   

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