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HHS HealthBeat (June 1, 2012)

Tans, burns and cancer

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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Is a tan really worth risking skin cancer for? Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at national survey data, and reported that half of adults under 30 had at least one sunburn in a year. Burns raise the risk of skin cancer.

The researchers also were surprised to see how popular indoor tanning is among young women. The CDC’s Gery Guy:

“For example, among non-Hispanic white women between the ages of 18 and 21, 32 percent reported indoor tanning, with an average of 28 sessions in the past year.”

Guy points out that, beyond raising their risk of cancer, their skin is likely to age – and wrinkle – faster.

The study is in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: August 22, 2012