It seems that skin cancer rates are up for gay men due to tanning beds, a highly popular method of getting a quick, lively color to your skin, in spite of the fact that studies warn against their use.
- A number of 400,000 Americans die each year due to skin cancer caused by indoor tanning
- The study included 75,000 straight men, and over 3,000 bisexual and gay men
- The sexual minority was between 3-6 times more likely to use tanning beds
- This doubles their chances of developing skin cancer, from 3% for straight men, to 7% for gay and bisexual men
Researchers at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, have reviewed state and federal data across an extensive number of patients. Among them counted 78,500 straight men, 100,000 straight women, over 3,000 gay and bisexual men, and over 3,000 gay women. They studied the collected reports after the rising popularity of tanning beds and their frequency of use linked to skin cancer.
According to co-author of the study, Dr. Matthern Mansh, overall results show that gay men are between 3 to 6 times more likely to make use of indoor tanning than straight men. It remains a painfully popular practice among the sexual minority. In fact, they are reported as being twice as likely to develop both melanoma and non-melanoma types of skin cancer.
While straight men only faced a 3% risk of developing skin cancer due to the use of tanning beds, gay men saw to a 7% risk. There have been strong associations between the practice and various types of the disease, but it has also been noted that there are no public health intervention programs to target that specific group.
That is in spite of the statistic that they are currently at bigger risk.
However, the problem remains stemmed in the fact that tanning beds are still a popular choice among cosmetic options. According to a different study, Google searches for “tanning beds” or “tanning salon” reach 75,000 per month on average, and spike higher between April and May. This could be a potential window for advertisers to better bring awareness to the problem.
An estimated 400,000 people in the United States die each year due to indoor tanning-related skin cancer. It has been officially recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a carcinogen since 2009. And yet, their popularity has not seen a significant enough drop.
The study unveiled that using tanning beds before the age of 30 years old increases skin cancer risk by 75%. The UVA rays also damage the skin, causing premature aging, spotting, and wrinkling due to the artificial light’s harmful effects. They can even cause irreparable damage to the eye and cause hazard within the body’s immune system.
The issue underlines the need for more awareness campaigns in general, but also perhaps ads targeted specifically to gay and bisexual men of 18 years old and over, who seem to be at a higher risk, since skin cancer rates are up for gay men due to tanning beds.
Image source: bostonmagazine.com