Rather than parroting anti-tanning talking points, here’s a ray of light the Richmond Times-Dispatch can catch.
The Times-Dispatch implies that people should avoid tanning because of a “rise in melanoma rates.”
But while more melanoma is being diagnosed today than, say, 30 years ago, this is most likely due to heightened skin cancer awareness causing more diagnoses AND misdiagnoses of melanoma.
The misdiagnoses arises from benign skin lesions getting misclassified and treated as Stage 1 melanoma. Over the same period of time, the death rate from melanoma has been steady among whites and has actually declined among young white women (see chart), according to data from the National Cancer Institute.
There is simply no evidence that sunbathing is driving any sort of change in the incidence of melanoma.