Massage therapists are on the front lines of helping prevent skin cancer, by noticing suspicious moles and lesions on clients’ skin. About 120,000 new cases of melanoma are diagnosed in the U.S. each year, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.
But it doesn’t take the sun to create skin cancer; the uptick in tanning-bed use over the last decade is creating new cancer cases, especially among young adults. In 2009, The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer moved UV tanning beds to its highest cancer-risk category, “carcinogenic to humans.”
New research shows tanning-bed users exhibit brain changes and behavior similar to addicts.
“This could explain why some people continue to use tanning beds despite the increased risk of developing melanoma, the most lethal form of skin cancer,” noted a press release from UT Southwestern Medical Center. “The brain activity and corresponding blood flow tracked by UT Southwestern scientists involved in the study is similar to that seen in people addicted to drugs and alcohol.”
People younger than 30 who use a tanning bed 10 times a year have eight times the risk of developing malignant melanoma, the investigators noted, adding, “While public knowledge of these dangers has grown, so has the regular use of tanning beds.”