A new study released Thursday by the National Cancer Institute reveals a shocking and potentially deadly trend that could change the way women look at the sun.
Dr. Mark Purdue, National Cancer Institute Research Fellow, says, "We observed a 50% increase in the incidence of melanoma among Caucasian young adult women between 1980 and 2004."
The rates for men did not change at all over the same period. Scientists are not blaming any one thing, but they do think that it is not just sun exposure but also tanning beds that may play a role in the melanoma increase. Regardless of what is causing the increase, doctors say that this should be a wake-up call for anyone who spends time in the sun.
So what should you do to stay safe? Experts say that you should avoid exposure when the sun's rays are the strongest (10 a.m.-4 p.m.), always use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or more, and wear a broad-brimmed hat or protective clothing.