Surgeon General Issues First Warning About Tanning And Skin Cancer


The US Surgeon General has issued a new warning against cancer of the skin, claiming that even though the condition is preventable generally, it’s believed to have affected more Americans than breast, prostate, lung, colon and all sorts of other forms of cancer combined over the past 30 years.

In a statement released by the Department of Health insurance and Human Services, the Surgeon General reported the rates of melanoma along with other forms of cancer of the skin are on the rise. Nearly 5 million Americans are treated for that condition every year at an average annual cost of over $8 billion, which is one of the most common forms of cancer among teens and teenagers in the US.

There are more than 63,000 new installments of melanoma, the deadliest form of cancer of the skin and also the leading cause of death from skin disease, diagnosed in the US annually. That can be a represents just 2 % of cancer of the skin cases, it’s also a 200 percent increase from 1973 to 2011, and it is accountable for nearly 9,000 deaths each year.

“Until today, the surgeon general hasn’t said, ‘UV radiation isn’t good for you; protect the skin,’” acting Surgeon General Dr. Boris Lushniak, who’s a dermatologist by trade, told on Wednesday. “We need to alter the social norms about tanning. Tanned skin is damaged skin, and that we need to shatter the parable that tanned skin is really a manifestation of health.”

According towards the Surgeon General’s report, more than 400,000 annual installments of skin cancer in america (including 6,000 cases of melanoma) are viewed to become linked to indoor tanning. As many as 44 states, as well as Washington DC, have already instituted some form of legislation or regulation related to indoor tanning, the advisory said, but nearly one-third of white females between the ages of 16 and 25 participate in the activity every year.

While health experts have long advised that people must take measures to protect themselves from the sun’s Ultra violet rays and refrain from using indoor tanning salons, Kim Painter of USA Today noted this may be the very first time the Surgeon General’s office has weighed in on the issue.

The warning comes just 8 weeks after the Food and Drug Administration’s announcement that tanning beds and tanning lamps will quickly have to include labels cautioning that they ‘t be used by anyone younger than 18, she added, and days after the House of Representatives passed the Sunscreen Innovation Act, with a review process for those manufacturers submitting new sunscreens towards the FDA, based on CNN.

“While a number of other cancers, such as lung cancer, are decreasing, rates of melanoma C the deadliest type of skin cancer are increasing,” Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Howard K. Koh, a skin oncologist by trade, said in a statement. “Almost many of these cancers were caused by unnecessary ultraviolet radiation exposure, usually from excessive time in the sun or from the use of indoor tanning devices.”

“When people tan or get sunburned, they increase their risk of getting skin cancer later,” added Lushniak. “We want all Americans to guide healthy, active lives. We all need to take an active role to prevent cancer of the skin by protecting our skin while being outdoors and avoiding intentional exposure to the sun and indoor tanning.”

Read Further:

> ASA Responds to Surgeon General’s Proactive approach Regarding UV Exposure

> Statement from Tim Turnham, Executive Director, Melanoma Research Foundation, Regarding Surgeon General’s Skin Cancer Call to Action