Cancer is a diagnosis no one wants to hear.
Thanks to advances in health care, many cancer patients are experiencing better health outcomes. Unfortunately, there is a form of cancer whose incidence is increasing melanoma.
Melanoma is the most common form of cancer in young adults age 25 to 29, and one in every 20 cases can be attributed to use of indoor tanning beds.
This is disheartening because most melanomas are preventable by protecting oneself from ultraviolet radiation.
Despite various health organization warnings, indoor tanning has become popular, especially among teenagers.
Unfortunately, this industry is not regulated in Pennsylvania.
Thirty-six states, including New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland, New York and Ohio, have regulations restricting youth access to indoor tanning.
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives is considering legislation that addresses this issue. If passed, it would require on-site parental consent for minors under the age of 18 and a complete ban under the age of 14. Tanning salons would also be required to be licensed, inspected and meet safety standards.
Although not ideal, this bill is the first step in protecting youth from a known carcinogen. The Pennsylvania Senate has already approved this legislation by a 48- to-1 margin. It is now up to the House to approve this measure to protect young Pennsylvanians from a serious and potentially
Charlene Friedman Boalsburg
The writer is a dermatologist in State College.