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Sunbed Link to Skin Cancer Higher Than Previously Thought, Says New Research

Posted on the 25 July 2012 by Periscope @periscopepost
Sunbed cancer risk higher than thought Is it time to ban sunbeds?

The background

Using sunbeds raises the risk of skin cancer by 20 percent, according to new research published in the British Medical Journal – higher than previously believed. Young people are particularly vulnerable: the risk of developing melanoma doubles in those who used an indoor tanning device before the age of 35.

Skin cancer on the rise

“Malignant melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer, with almost 13,000 Britons diagnosed in 2010,” wrote Jenny Hope in The Daily Mail. “Tragically, it is the fastest growing cancer in young people and the most common cancer in women in their 20s.” The latest study found that sunbed use is linked to 444 cases of skin cancer and 99 deaths in Britain every year.

Time to ban sunbeds?

Is a sunbed ban the answer? “If sunbed use by teenagers and young adults does not substantially decrease in the short term, then more radical actions should be envisioned, such as the nationwide prohibition of the public use of tanning devices,” said the study, reported The Evening Standard.

Package holidays also under the spotlight

Cancer Research UK also released figures that show skin cancer cases are rising among over-fifties, which may suggest a link to sun damage sustained earlier in life. “The cancer can take years to develop and be spotted meaning the rise is probably due to the explosion in cheap package holidays to the sun,” reported The Telegraph.

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