4.21.2010

Giving Away Cancer


As we should all be well aware of by now, tanning beds cause cancer.  Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, and can strike anyone, at any age.  We already know that tanning is bad, and SPF and good sun and skin habits are a must, but it seems that these warnings and tradegies are falling on some deaf ears.

What exactly am I talking about?  I'm talking about the "cancer as a door prize" attitude.  That's right.  Companies and organizations are giving away tanning sessions.  Sure, that seems awesome if you like tanning, but consider the cost.  Ironically, this came to my attention because my local Rec Center was offering one of these free tanning sessions giveaways.  Ironically, this is supposed to be a place dedicated to keeping yourself in health.
The FDA has regulated sunlamps for more than 20 years, but a recent report by the World Health Organization tied the devices to skin cancer...The WHO analysis showed that the deadliest form of skin cancer increases 75 percent in people who use tanning beds in their teens and 20s... Nearly 69,000 U.S. cases of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, were diagnosed last year. Also linked to ultraviolet exposure are basal and squamous cell cancer carcinomas, which affect more than 1 million Americans a year. They're usually easily removed but the American Cancer Society counts 2,000 annual deaths.
Fair-skinned people who don't tan easily are at highest risk for skin cancer. Melanoma is particularly linked to sunburns at a young age, though it is usually diagnosed in the 40s and 50s.
-MSNBC.com

International cancer experts have moved tanning beds and other sources of ultraviolet radiation into the top cancer risk category, deeming them as deadly as arsenic and mustard gas.
-USAToday.com
As if that isn't scary enough, check this out: Women who use tanning beds more than once a month are 55 percent more likely to develop malignant melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. (cancer.gov)

I know ladies, it's hard to give up bronze skin and that good feeling that comes from laying out in the sun or under a lamp.  Our health is worth more than what advertising tells us is beautiful!  If you don't want to give up your tan, please invest in sunless tanner. 

I don't think these places or companies are intentionally trying to hurt people; far from it.  But this isn't just about a reward for participation, this is a vital health issue and the long-term effects should be taken into consideration.  This will hopefully go the way of Bella Donna eye drops and lead based foundation, but it requires knowledge and doing the right thing, which means taking the larger social consequences into consideration.

If you want to learn more about tanning and skin cancer, I urge you to visit The National Cancer Insitute at http://www.cancer.gov/.

Stay safe!

2 comments:

Kay | Print Flyers said...

Cancer is really scary and I don't think women wants to have a tanned skin today and cancer later. Thank you so much for sharing this because this will serve as a reminder to all. And that this is a serious issue.

April 22, 2010 at 12:52 AM
Christienne said...

It's scary that the correlation between skin cancer and tanning is so underminded by presenting it that way, as a prize, that it could lead to the assumption that tanning isn't dangerous. I tanned and burned in the sun almost all my childhood (and I'm Irish!), and went through a summer where I was addicted to tanning beds. I had to start getting sun-spots removed at 18. Now I'm learning to embrace my palor. Thank you for sharing your comment! :)

April 22, 2010 at 10:30 AM

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