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Keywords:

  • melanoma;
  • young women;
  • UVA;
  • sunlamps;
  • tanning

Summary

Melanomas are the most prevalent cancers in 25–29 yr old females and compose roughly 12% of cancers in 20–40 yr old women; under the age of 40, women have a higher incidence of melanomas than do men. Within the past few decades, the alarming trend to use commercial sunlamps for cosmetic pigmentation is of particular concern, especially since 71% of those patrons are women with 50% of patrons under the age of 29. A major problem may be the use of UVA-rich sunlamps which produce a visible tan but afford little to no protection from subsequent UV exposure. We hypothesize that the additional exposure of adolescents to unnaturally large amounts of UVA from artificial UV sources is implicated in the increasing incidence of malignant melanomas disproportionately in young women.