Nightly News | April 02, 2012
>>> we mentioned this just before the break, new numbers are out on skin cancer in the country, and the headline here is this. the stunning rise in melanoma among young women in the united states . our chief medical editor, dr. nancy snyderman has the report.
>> today's study looked at new cases of melanoma diagnosed in patients und s over a 40-year period. the rate of melanoma was eight times higher among women 18 to 39 than it was in 1970 . among men, four times higher.
>> some people would consider melanoma, especially in young women , almost an epidemic.
>> while the mayo clinic study didn't look at the reason, researchers looked at one big culprit, indoor tanning. one recent study showed using tanning beds increases the use for melanoma by 74%. jody said her pale colors meant she couldn't get a tan in the sun, so as a teenager, she started going to tanning salons.
>> it started off as once a week and then maybe twice a week and then eventually t got to every day that i was tanning.
>> and she believes she paid a price for it. at 19, she was diagnosed with malignant melanoma and underwent surgery and extensive follow-up treatments. the indoor tanning association contensed there's no association between melanoma and uv exposure, that studies are skewed by a disproportionate population of fair-skinned people and they don't consider the importance of advanced sunscreens. this doctor at the university of colorado has been using uv photography to check for skin damage. not only in heavy tanners like jody but also in children who have never used tanning beds . he co-altogetherered a study showing visible signs of sun damage in kids as young as 12 and 13. jody duke says she won't take chances with her family.
>> i have two little girls, and they are as pale as i am. so we are in sunscreen every day, whether it's rain or shine . hats and long sleeves. and we're very careful.
>> there is no such thing as a good tan. all tans are damaging. experts say the things to watch out for, if you have more than 50 moles on your body, any blistering sun burns put you at rist, and anyone who has used a tanning bed more than 50 times, all of the things add up. while fair-skinned people are most susceptible, eveven people with darker complexions are at risk, too, and when darker people get skin cancer , the outcomes aren't as good.