Wisconsin falling behind in skin cancer prevention

A national organization says Wisconsin can do a better job when it comes to preventing certain forms of cancer.

In its annual report, the American Cancer Society says the state is falling behind other states in the Midwest in skin cancer prevention.

The report says the state’s indoor tanning laws are partially to blame.

People only have to be 16 to use an indoor tanning bed in Wisconsin.

Doctors say that’s a problem because people under the age of 20 are especially susceptible to skin damage, but they add the risk is high for everyone.

“The rays in the tanning booth are 5 to 10 times the intensity of the sunlight. One visit to a tanning booth increases the risk of developing melanoma by 20 percent. And each subsequent visit to a tanning booth increases by 2 percent,” said Dr. Stephen Webster from Gundersen Health System.

The American Cancer Society recommended raising the state’s minimum age for tanning beds to 18 or banning their use altogether.