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More Cancers From Tanning Than Cigarettes

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Tanning beds and cigarettes may seem like an extreme comparison. But a new study has yielded some very surprising results.

Unsightly scars, lost body parts, even death. Those sound like side effects of smoking but we're talking about the effects of skin cancer from tanning beds.

Derrek Christian says tanning gives his skin the sun-kissed look all year long. That's why he hits the tanning salon "three times a week, maybe."

He does it despite the known risk of cancer from ultra-violet radiation. It's nothing new. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Dermatology however, shows just how serious it is. It says the number of skin cancer cases due to tanning is higher than the number of lung cancer cases due to smoking.

Christian still isn't too concerned. "I'm just as worried about tanning as I am crossing the street like I just did," he says.

Dr. Lisa Rhodes contends the tanning bed is much more dangerous. "If you've ever been in a tanning bed it increases your risks for melanoma by more than 75 percent," she said.

The Westlake Dermatology chief dermatologist says it's so serious she thinks tanning beds should come off the market. "If you develop melanoma and it's not caught early enough it can metastasize and spread through the body and there are not good cures for metastatic melanoma, yet," Dr. Rhodes says.

Christian says he will take the risk. "Doctors here in Austin are really good as well so, and I have good health insurance," he said with a smile.

Dr. Rhodes added spray tanning is fine. Often times it's offered at salons with tanning beds. So someone wanting that look can still get it without the risk, and the salon keeps its customer.

By Melanie Lofton

More Cancers From Tanning Than Cigarettes


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