It is prom season and unfortunately, that may lead to an increase in tanning bed use. The quest for a bronzed look may continue to drive this activity but it can also put our skin and health in jeopardy. The Journal of the National Cancer Institute published a study that discussed the relationship between tanning bed usage and an increase in the number of melanomas. Not only did more melanomas develop, but they were occurring in a younger population. Many of us may have been told in our younger years that indoor tanning was safe but the article relates that there may be a specific gene mutation, BRAF V600E that happens more frequently in tanning bed users. Most of the identified melanomas in the study had this mutation, especially if indoor tanning occurred before the age of 25. Hopefully, education and changing public opinion can swing the pendulum on this activity and at some point in the future indoor tanning will no longer be as common. Although we can’t change the past, it is never too late to begin good healthy skin prevention practices like avoiding tanning beds and also diligently using sunscreen while outdoors.
On May 18th, Mayo Clinic is hosting the Melanoma Education Symposium 2019, Sun Safety and Survivorship. Topics will include melanoma risk management, surgical management and other treatment options as well as information on clinical trials, stress management, survivorship and cancer resources. You can register online https://ce.mayo.edu/hematology-and-oncology/content/melanoma-education-symposium-2019
Please join us to hear and discuss the latest information on melanoma. We look forward to seeing you there!