February is African American History Month. Among much else, it can serve as a fitting reminder about a myth that has persisted for too long: African Americans (and those with darker skin tones) can’t get skin cancer. In fact, among the African American population, melanoma – the most serious kind of skin cancer – is much more deadly than among Caucasians.
Because skin cancer rates continue to rise among young adults – a group previously unlikely to be diagnosed – states are acting on convincing evidence that indoor tanning is a significant factor. In 2013, following a number of other states, Illinois, Nevada, and Texas enacted legislation to block access to indoor tanning for minors. This is a trend we hope will eventually be rolled out across all states.