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Have you seen this article by Paul Fassa that has been all over Facebook about skin cancer and sunscreen? When you see things like this do you ever become curious and wonder if its true?  In this case, I couldn't resist. Is there really some new piece of research out there that turns everything I know about skin cancer and sunscreen on its head? In my world, this would be a big deal. So I took a look at the article and the actual research article it purports to cite: joim12251.  The study involved following about 30,000 Swedish women, recruited from 1990-1992. ...

With summer just around the corner in Seattle, this is a great time of the year to start thinking about sun protection. Everyone knows that you should go to the tanning parlor and get a good base tan before you go on vacation to someplace sunny, because then you won't get burned on vacation. And everyone knows that it's OK to tan as much as you want, even every day, just as long as you don't get burned. And of course, tanning is by far the most effective way to get Vitamin D. With all of this good news about...

1. Tanning is ok if I don’t get burned. Myth Blistering sunburns are a well-known melanoma risk factor.  Somehow, this has led to claims that tanning without burning is safe. But just like unicorns, "safe" tanning is a myth.  Cumulative sun exposure, whether a burn develops or not, is also a melanoma risk factor, as well as a risk factor for non-melanoma skin cancers. 2. Tanning is a natural defense that will protect me from further burns. Part Fact, mostly Myth The base than hypothesis. The first part of this is true.  Tanning is a defensive response.  The stimulus for tanning is mutation of your body’s...

You don't have to give up vacations in Hawaii or fear the outdoor activities that you enjoy. You simply need to take precautions to protect yourself. Realistically, I don’t expect anyone to be perfect and have been burned myself, but these measures WILL make a difference that translates into a decreased risk of skin cancer. ...

A major European study recently combined the results of 27 other studies over the last 30 years in Europe looking at the relationship between tanning and melanoma. They confirmed several things that we suspected were true: Any use of indoor tanning is associated with a 20% higher risk of melanoma Tanning before the age of 35 doubles that risk But, they also found some very interesting new facts: Each exposure to a tanning bed is associated with a 1.8% increased risk of melanoma. The risk of melanoma continues to rise, particularly among young women About 500 people in the European Community countries where the study was done...

Q:  I've actively tanned for the last 11 years.  What are my chances of getting skin cancer now?  What's the chance of me getting skin cancer because I've been naturally tanning since I was 6.  I am 17 now?  What can I do to lower my future risk?  Is it too late??? A:  Intentional tanning will have certainly increased your risk, but its very difficult to put a number on it. You can't change the past, but you can exert control over your future.  So, what you want to do now is to make that behavior part of the past and take...

Q:  I am sixteen and I want to go tanning for prom.  I just dont know what to do-- whether spray tanning or in a bed tanning?  I know tanning in a bed causes cancer, but if I just go for like 2 weeks everyother day will it hurt? A: Yes, it will. Studies have shown that people who have NEVER gone to a tanning bed have less skin cancer than people who have EVER gone. Even just a few times. Ask around and find out who does good spray tans in your area. No ill health effects from a spray tan at all. Once...

Q: Is tanning occasionally (1-10 times a year) damaging to my skin?  I don't burn and have no family history of skin cancer? -Bothell, WA A:  Doesn't matter if you burn or not. The tanning response requires genetic damage to the DNA in your skin cells in order for tanning to happen. Even tanning 10 times a year raises the risk of melanoma by 34%. Tanning also dramatically accelerates the aging process in your skin by completely shutting down collagen production temporarily....

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