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Surge in skin cancer due to sunbed obsession

8th April 2009

Experts are warning of an increase in serious skin cancer among younger women.

sunbed1

Overuse of sunbeds and “binge holiday tanning” are being blamed for the increase.

Cancer Research UK said that in 2005 some 340 women aged 20-29 were diagnosed with malignant melanoma in the UK, up from 220 in 2003.

Figures show that about 50 women under the age of 40 die every year from melanoma and the condition is now the third most common cancer among women in their 30s after breast and cervical cancer.

The advice from Cancer Research UK is for people to not use sunbeds and use high factor lotion when they are out in the sun.

The charity also fears that malignant cancer cases among men and women of all ages will rise from around 9,000 each year to more than 15,500.

Caroline Cerny of the charity’s SunSmart campaign, said: "Spending time on sunbeds is just as dangerous as staying out too long in sun. Sunbeds don't offer a safe way to tan.

"The intensity of UV rays in some sunbeds can be more than 10 times stronger than the midday sun."

She said if people take care not to burn in the sun and do not use sunbeds, the majority of malignant melanoma could be prevented.

Recent surveys have shown that 9% of girls aged 11-17 have also used sunbeds, a trend the charity describes as worrying.

The British Association of Dermatologists said it is the fashion for tanned skin that is prompting young women to risk their health.

 

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