Health

A healthy tan bed?Experts say no

Skin cancer Researchers oppose industry campaigns to portray tan beds as healthy

NS
Salynn Boyles
WebMD Health News

Reviewed by
Louise Chan, MD

September 18, 2008-Health experts oppose aggressive campaigns by the tanning industry to portray sunbathing and the use of indoor tanning beds as not only safe, but also good for you. ..

In a series of treatises published today,
melanoma Research, dermatology, and cell biology are calling for greater regulation of the indoor tanning industry.

Society of, claiming that there may be no such thing as a safe tan melanomaResearch President David E. Fischer, MD, and colleagues have accused the industry of trying to confuse the public about the health benefits of sunburn.

“This effort to describe tans and tanning beds as good for health ignores the fact of exposure to UV light. radiation Represents one of the most avoidable causes of cancer, “Fisher told WebMD. “There is no doubt that this exposure causes thousands. Skin cancer I die in a year. “

Last spring, the Indoor Tanning Association launched a national campaign with full-page ads. New York Times Question the link between exposure to sunlight and deadly things Skin cancer melanoma -And claim that sunburn promotes health by boosting Vitamin D level.

When exposed to UV light, the body produces Vitamin DResearch suggests that it is protective against many illnesses.

In a news release on March 26, Sara Longwell, a spokeswoman for the International Tan Association, said, “Both tan beds and tan beds are unnecessarily shown by special interest in junk science and horror tactics. I have. “

UV and skin cancer

Fisher admits that the effects of UV exposure on melanoma are not fully understood, but states that the claim that the tanning industry may have no links at all is false.

“While genetic and other factors definitely make a significant contribution,
Skin cancer Risk, the role of UV is indisputable, and efforts to confuse the public, especially for the economic benefit of the indoor tanning industry, should fight vigorously for public health, “Fisher and colleagues said. Pigment cell and melanoma studies.

Over 1 million cases of non-melanoma Skin cancer According to Americans, 60,000 cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in the United States this year.
cancer society.

“Skin incidence cancer Continues to rise faster than any other
cancer, The lifetime risk of developing melanoma in Americans is estimated to have increased by about 2,000% over the last 75 years, “the researchers write.

Melanoma is by far the most deadly skin cancer, but Fisher says thousands of people die each year from non-melanoma. Skin cancer..

“They are cancer It’s definitely due to exposure to UV light, “he says.

In another review entitled “Is a tanning bed safe?”, Epidemiologist Marianne Berwick of the University of New Mexico, PhD, said that tanning beds are less safe than sun exposure and are associated with an increased risk of melanoma. The data suggest that it is possible, but conclude that it has not proved it.

She said that better research is needed to investigate this issue: “Because of this uncertainty, the data do not support the claim that sunbeds are safe, and such claims do not. It should be considered misleading. “

Reaction of the tanning industry

In a statement released Wednesday in response to a request from WebMD, John Overstreet, Executive Secretary of the International Tanning Association, said, “Irresponsible claims without providing a concrete link between indoor tans and melanoma. Condemn the author of the newly published review.

“Actually, UV light Vitamin D This helps the body prevent many types of illnesses. The rewards of moderate and responsible exposure to UV radiation far outweigh the consequences of not getting enough UV light, “Overstreet said in a statement.

Fisher disagrees with this claim, adding that people can get all the vitamin D they need by taking it. supplement Of vitamins.

“In this era, it doesn’t make sense to advocate exposure to carcinogens to get vitamins,” he says. “People who are truly deficient in vitamin D should be monitored by a doctor who can recommend the right amount of supplements.”

Len Lichtenfeld, MD, Deputy Chief Medical Officer of the American Cancer Society, agrees.

“Why is the risk of skin cancer increased when there are cheap, ready-to-use and safe alternatives?” supplement?? “He says.

Lichtenfeld is the American Cancer Society, National Council on Skin Cancer prevention, And all major dermatologists’ associations take the position that indoor tanning is a dangerous practice.

“It’s unpleasant how this trade association tries to promote this practice as safe when all reputable medical institutions disagree,” he says.

Source: Nga, T. Study of pigment cells and melanoma, October 2008; Online version. David E. Fisher, MD, President of the Melanoma Research Society.Professor of Dermatology and Pediatrics Oncology, Harvard Medical School. Len Lichtenfeld, MD, Deputy Chief Medical Officer of the American Cancer Society. News release, indoor tanning association. Dr. Marianne Berwick, Epidemiologist, Center for Cancer Research and Treatment, University of New Mexico. Dan Fumiston, President of the International Tanning Association. Sarah Longwell, Spokeswoman, International Tanning Association. John Overstreet, Secretary-General of the International Tanning Association.

© 2008 WebMD, LLC. all rights reserved.



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A healthy tan bed?Experts say no

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