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Despite skin cancer millions use tanning beds

Armen Hareyan's picture
Tanning bed skin cancer risk

Despite even the most serious warnings about the skin cancer risks for tanning beds, millions of people still use them. Experts say teenagers are the most users of the tanning beds. When asked why teenagers use tanning beds, CBS News Medical Correspondend Dr. Jon Lapook tells Katie Couric that it is because teens believe they are invulnerable to the skin cancer risks and health problems due to young age. However, as their story goes, this was not the case with a young teenage girl Paige Wood who started going to tanning salons when she was 18 years old. Now at 27, she is fighting melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer.

Ultraviolet rays from tanning lamps increase the risk of melanoma of skin and eye, so the agency for cancer research from the World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday raised its rating from "probably carcinogenic" to "definitely" able to cause cancer. A group of 20 experts from nine countries reviewed the studies that led to the decision to increase the Melanoma skin cancer risk of tanning beds and booths.

Its findings will be published in the August issue of the medical journal Lancet Oncology, according to a wire agency Ansa. CBS News also confirms this in making a reference to Lancet Oncology.

In 1992, the ultraviolet rays (type A, B AND C), the artificial lights and the sun beds were in the "Level 2" of the classification of the WHO agency for cancer research. However, experts yesterday raised it to the "level 1", meaning to the threshold of maximum risk. An investigation established that exposure to artificial UV rays before the age 30, increases the risk of Melanoma by 75 percent. Melanoma is the most aggressive and deadly form of skin cancer. This is according to the findings of the World Health Organization.

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There are 25,000 tanning salons in the USA. They attract 30 million people. Imagine the skin cancer risk levels. The op five U.S. cities are Pittsburgh, Charleston, W.V., Akron, Fargo and Scottsdale.

The report warns that the use of artificial tanning is widespread, especially among young women. Dr.Lapook also says that in Texas a bill is pending, which will require children under the age of 18 to go to tanning beds only with parents and also have a doctoral approval for her or his doctor about using tanning beds. It sounds like a very good idea to protect our teens from skin cancer. We will wait and see what happens in Texas with this tanning salon bill.

The experts also note that several studies have demonstrated the relationship between artificial tanning and ocular melanoma. We hope that parents, teenagers and young adults will not be deceived by the promises of tanning beds and will heed this most serious warning about the skin cancer risks associated with tanning beds.

We repeat the finding that it will "definitely" be able to cause skin cancer. Tanning beds are not worth the risk.

Written by Armen Hareyan
CBS News
World Health Organization
Lancet Oncology



It has been found that tanning beds emitts some harmful ultraviolet radiation which increases the risk of skin cancer. It can also lead to eye cancer. Those who opt frequently for tanning beds are eight times more likely to get melanoma, the most awful form of skin cancer than those who haven't used them.