Indoor Tanning Ban Could Slash Melanoma Deaths

Indoor Tanning Ban Could Slash Melanoma Deaths image

A ban on indoor tanning would result in 1,206 fewer cases of melanoma in England.

An indoor tanning ban in England would reduce melanoma deaths, according to a study by University of Manchester researchers.

By tracking the projected impact on the 618,000 18-year-olds living in England in 2019, the research team showed that a ban on indoor tanning would result in 1,206 fewer cases of melanoma and  207 fewer melanoma deaths over their lifetimes. 

In addition, it would result in 3,987 fewer cases of other more common types of skin cancer (squamous cell and basal cell carcinomas) which  impose a major  burden on both affected patients and the National Health Service (NHS).

The study, published in the British Journal of Dermatology, also examined the costs of a public information campaign at the same time as the ban and the potential savings to the NHS. 

 And the policy would also save the NHS £700,000 ($862,477.00) resulting in a Net Monetary Benefit of £10.6m ($13,060,366.00) with a 99 percent likelihood that the ban with the information campaign would be cost-effective.

 The actual impact of an indoor tanning ban, and the savings to the NHS that would accrue, would be far greater when benefits to individuals that started to use sunbeds over the age of 18 years were also factored in. It is also estimated there are around 62,000 children under 18 currently using sunbeds in England.

“If the NHS invested in a public health campaign to support the ban on sunbeds, we estimate that melanoma and other skin cancers would be significantly  reduced, NHS resources would be saved and deaths averted,” says Paul Lorigan, a professor of oncology at The University of Manchester and honorary consultant medical oncologist at the Christie NHS Foundation Trust, in a news release. 

The team analyzed the cost-effectiveness of the policy on the NHS using modelling to track the national cohort of 18-year-olds over their lifetimes.

The mortality data specifically, was obtained from Office for National Statistics. They compared a nationwide ban on commercial indoor tanning combined with a public information campaign with the status quo of availability of commercial indoor tanning.

 And they calculated the expected costs, quality adjusted life years and the net monetary benefit of a ban.

 “We already know that indoor tanning devices are strongly linked to melanoma and other skin cancers with resulting morbidity, mortality and increased healthcare costs,” adds Professor Adele Green from The University of Manchester and the CRUK Manchester Institute.“But policy-makers require robust economic evidence to inform decisions about a possible ban of such devices to mitigate these burdens. We feel we have succeeded in providing that evidence.”

 Susanna Daniels, CEO at Melanoma Focus says: "This research is further evidence of the negative public health impact of sunbeds.”

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