Study: Monthly use of tanning beds increases melanoma risk - KMSP-TV

Study: Monthly use of tanning beds increases melanoma risk by 75%

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May is National Skin Cancer Screening Month and Kaiser Permanente is offering free screenings to anyone.

The American Academy of Dermatology reports recent studies show that monthly use of tanning beds increases the risk of melanoma by 75 percent.

"We've seen a major surge in deadly melanomas in young women who have been using tanning beds for years and years and years without realizing how dangerous that could be," said Dr. Irena Spektor of Kaiser Permanente.

Spektor performs free skin cancer screenings at Kaiser Permanente's Cumberland Medical Center in Atlanta.

Olga Csisar, 63, has a family history of skin cancer, so she gets regular screenings. She's noticed her daughter's generation has an obsession with tanning beds and says one teenage girl continued to use them even after being diagnosed.

"And actually did end up with melanoma and had it removed and continued going to the tanning salon," said Csisar.

Spektor says it's a real problem because young women often equate health with tanned skin, despite the risks.

"We are sort of catching it at the point when it's already too late - when the melanoma has already occurred, so what we're trying to do is focus on the preventative measures at this time," said Spektor said.

In addition to doing things like using sunscreen and avoiding tanning beds and direct sunlight, Spektor recommends you get a skin cancer screening in a doctor's office at least once a year. She also says you should also examine your skin for changes once a month

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