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Sunbeds put lives at risk

8th April 2008

A survey by Cancer Research UK has suggested that people who begin to use sunbeds when aged under 35 have a 75% increased danger of developing malignant melanoma.

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In the UK, 9,000 cases of malignant melanoma are discovered every year and it causes 1,800 deaths. Nearly one third of cases are diagnosed in people aged under 50 and it is the most prevalent cancer in people aged between 15-34.

More female patients are diagnosed with the cancer, but more men die from the disease.

The charity surveyed 4,000 people. It discovered that one in three female respondents and one in four male respondents had used a sunbed. Of the users 82% had started to use sunbeds when aged under 35.

Cancer Research is helping the government to examine the potential regulation of sunbeds and tanning salons. It wants people aged under 18 to be banned from using sunbeds and to implement a ban on pay-as-you-tan machines.

The charity are launching this year's SunSmart campaign by emphasising the fact that ultraviolet rays from sunbeds can cause as much harm as the sun's rays.

Rebecca Russell, Cancer Research UK's SunSmart campaign manager, said: "The results of our survey make for a stark warning to young people about the dangers of indoor tanning."

"You can't always see the damage that UV does straight away. It builds up over time. But every time you use a sunbed you are harming your skin and increasing your risk of skin cancer."



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