Indoor Tanning Tied to Soaring Health Costs
A new study suggests that skin cancer caused by indoor tanning beds results in about $343 million in medical costs each year in the United States. Over the lifetimes of people currently diagnoses with melanoma or other types of skin cancer linked to indoor tanning, the costs—of health care, loss productivity, and early deaths—is expected to reach more than $127 billion.
According to researchers, approximately 30 million people in the U.S. visit a tanning salon at least once a year. For this recent study, they calculated the average cost per year of treating melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and basal cell carcinoma and determined the proportion of skin cancer cases caused by indoor tanning based on previous studies.
In 2015, 8,947 cases of melanoma, more than 168,000 cases of squamous cell carcinoma, and at least 86,000 cases of basal cell carcinoma in the U.S were linked to tanning beds. That year, the estimated cost of treating melanoma was $5,054 per person and the usual cost of treating other types of skin cancer was $1,168 per person. All tanning—whether from the sun or from a tanning bed—increases skin cancer risk, but indoor tanning can significantly increase the risk for melanoma—the deadliest form of skin cancer.
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