Don't risk your life for a tan

Skin cancer surgeon Travis Kidner wrote about his melanoma diagnosis in an Aug. 5 Op-Ed that also argued for warning labels on tanning beds. "We need to get the word out," he said. "Tanning kills." The scary stats: "Specializing in the care of melanoma patients makes me all too aware of the facts. I know that melanoma is one of only a few cancers whose incidence is increasing. The chance of developing it during a lifetime is 1 in 50. And while melanoma accounts for less than 5% of skin cancer cases, it causes 75% of skin cancer deaths. This year alone there will be more than 76,000 new cases of melanoma diagnosed in the United States, causing 9,000 deaths. [...] "People have to understand that there is no such thing as a healthy tan, particularly one that comes from a tanning bed. Research has shown that just one indoor tanning session increases the user's chances of developing melanoma by 20%, and each additional session during the same year boosts the risk almost another 2%. One study found that when people first used a tanning bed before the age of 35, they increased their risk for melanoma by 75%." RELATED: Ted Rall's five best cartoons of 2013 2013 endings: Columnist Patt Morrison on what she won't miss Paul Walker and six other inspirational people who died too soon
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