FROM UV EXPOSURE
For most of the nearly 5 million patients with skin
cancer who are treated each year in the United States,
their disease was caused by genetic mutations arising as
a result of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun,
sunlamps, tanning beds, and tanning booths ( 65). In fact,
it is estimated that exposure to UV radiation, primarily
from the sun, causes as many as 90 percent of U.S. cases
of melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. About
8 percent of cases are attributable to indoor tanning ( 66).
Thus, one of the most effective ways a person can reduce his
or her risk of skin cancer is by practicing sun-safe habits
and not using UV indoor tanning devices (see sidebar on
Ways to Protect Your Skin).
32 AACR CANCER PROGRESS REPORT 2016
seek shade and limit time in the sun,
especially around midday;
wear clothing that
arms and legs;
wear a wide-brimmed hat;
wear wrap-around sunglasses;
apply a sunscreen rated sun protection
WAYS TO PROTECT
factor (SPF) 15 or higher at least every
2 hours and after swimming, sweating,
and toweling off; and
avoid indoor tanning with UV
devices like sunlamps, sunbeds,
and tanning booths.
To reduce your risk of the three main types of
skin cancer—basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell
carcinoma, and melanoma—the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention recommend that you:
Adapted from ( 24)
• Banned all indoor tanning—
Brazil and Australia.
• Banned indoor tanning for
all people younger than 18—
Austria, Belgium, Finland,
France, Germany, Iceland, Italy,
Norway, Portugal, Spain, and
the United Kingdom, as well as California,
Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois,
Louisiana, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire,
North Carolina, Texas, and Vermont.
• Banned indoor tanning for people younger than
18 unless they have a doctor’s prescription—
Oregon and Washington.
A number of other U. S.
states have legislation that
imposes less stringent
restrictions on the use of
indoor UV tanning devices,
but eight states have no
legislation restricting the
use of such devices: Alaska, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas,
Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and South Dakota.
Use of an indoor UV tanning device increases a
person’s risk for melanoma by 20 percent, and each
additional use increases risk a further 1. 8 percent
( 73). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is
considering proposals that would ban the use of
indoor UV tanning devices by people younger
than age 18 and require manufacturers and indoor
tanning facilities to take more actions to improve
the overall safety of indoor UV tanning devices
to protect adult consumers. As of July 31, 2016,
legislation banning the use of indoor UV tanning
devices by people younger than age 18 is already in
place in numerous countries and several U.S. states:
each year from 2020 to 2030 could be
prevented by implementing
a comprehensive skin cancer
prevention program ( 71).