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Tanning Beds Now Listed as Top Cancer Risk
Date:7/29/2009

Experts Available to Discuss Dangers of Tanning Beds and Warning Signs of Skin Cancer

ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill., July 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A study published in today's The Lancet Oncology concludes the risk of skin cancer jumps by 75 percent when people start using tanning beds before age 30. As a result, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has moved ultraviolet tanning beds into the highest cancer risk category, deeming them as deadly as tobacco, asbestos, arsenic and mustard gas.

According to Jeffrey Dover, M.D., president-elect of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS), "Tanning beds have become a dangerous past time for the American public -- especially with younger generations who don't think skin cancer will affects them at such a young age. Reaching consumers who use tanning beds has been an ongoing concern for the ASDS. In fact, the ASDS has supported the 27 indoor tanning bills introduced this year that will prohibit teens younger than 18 years old from using tanning beds."

In an effort to steer teens and young adults away from tanning beds and encourage them to practice safer sun exposure, the ASDS has launched a Facebook site. The site, Almost 100%, provides a forum to allow fans to exchange stories, post photos and maintain an open dialogue about skin cancer.

The ASDS has also introduced the first-ever Self Skin Examination Kit (SSE) to help consumers monitor and measure suspicious moles and other lesions. The kit, available free on the Society's Web site, provides statistics and background information about skin cancer, instructions for completing a thorough self-skin exam, and examples of what to look for when monitoring moles and freckles for skin cancer. The kit includes a 12-month journal to track mole locations and changes to the skin.

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SOURCE American Society for Dermatologic Surgery
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