Skin Cancer Treatment More of a Financial Burden

Tanning beds are costing Americans much more than the sticker price.

Artificial tanning has long been linked to increased risk for skin cancer. A new study, however, found that those stats don’t seem to be deterring people from flocking to tanning salons.

So, what will slow that trend?

Researchers at the University of North Carolina explored the economic impact of skin cancer that could have developed from artificial tanning, with some staggering results.

What are the numbers?

Researchers looked at the lifestyles of Americans diagnosed with skin cancer in 2015 to determine how prevalent “fake tanning” was. They ultimately suggested that there were as many as 263,000 cases of skin cancer in 2015 that could have been caused by artificial tanning.

More specifically, there were 168,000 cases of basal cell carcinomas, 86,6000 cases of squamous cell carcinomas and 9,000 incidents of melanoma, all of which could be attributed to tanning devices.

From there, they determined it would cost more than $343 million to treat skin cancer patients who contracted the disease after using tanning devices. Even more alarming is the total economic impact of tanning-related cancer on patients over their lifetimes: a loss of $127.3 billion.

The steep statistics highlight the need for skin cancer financial assistance, to help patients after a diagnosis, but also the work that lays ahead to discourage Americans from stepping into a tanning device to begin with.

What’s next?

According to the study, a whopping 30-million Americans use artificial tanning devices every year — and that’s despite very popular knowledge that such practices have been linked to skin cancer.

The federal government recently tightened restrictions on tanning devices, requiring all makers of tanning beds to include written warnings on the equipment that they shouldn’t be used by anyone under 18. It also expanded the ability of health officials to review the products before they start appearing in salons.

Now, researchers are hoping news of the financial impact will be another deterrent.

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