The Prevent Cancer Foundation applauds the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposed changes to its regulation of tanning devices, including a strong recommendation against the use of tanning beds by minors under the age of 18. We support the reclassification as an important first step by the FDA to lower the rising incidence of skin cancer, especially among the nation’s youth. Prevent Cancer has long been a leading force in the prevention or early detection of skin cancer by advocating for legislation like the Tanning Bed Cancer Control Act of 2011 (H.R. 1676), working closely with colleague organizations through the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention, funding cutting edge skin cancer research and through sun safety and skin cancer education and community outreach nationwide.
While the FDA’s proposed changes to regulation of tanning devices are a welcome step, skin cancer incidence in the U.S. continues to rise. Melanoma, the most lethal form of skin cancer, is the fastest-growing cancer and is being diagnosed in more and more young people, largely attributable to the use of tanning beds. There is more work to be done on the regulatory, legislative and education fronts to save lives through prevention and early detection of the disease.