Tanning bed junkies can't stop even after cancer


Even after a diagnosis of skin cancer, one in seven people will go back to the tanning bed.

Intervention needed for tanning addicts

“The situation may be analogous to that of lung cancer patients who continue to smoke after diagnosis,” explained lead author Brenda Cartmel, a cancer prevention researcher at the Yale School of Public Health in new Haven, Connecticut. “Just as tobacco is known to be addictive, our research suggests that some patients may become dependent on tanning, with new intervention approaches needed to change these behaviors.”

Numbers of young women getting skin cancer on the rise

Tanning beds emit up to 15 times the ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation of the sun. This is the type of radiation that seriously damages deep layers of the skin. Basal cell carcinoma is a slow-growing cancer which can be removed, but increases the risk for future skin cancers, especially in people younger than 40. It is the most common form of skin cancer and historically has mostly affected men over the age of 50. In recent years though, the number of young women under age 30 being diagnosed with the disease has increased dramatically.

Addicted to the endorphins

Cartmel and her research team were interested to find out what if anything was causing the increase in numbers of young women. They reviewed the records of young white women who had participated in a study of basal cell carcinoma one to four years earlier. They found 178 women who had tanned indoors prior to being diagnosed. About 15% of those women continued to tan after their cancer diagnosis –some reported tanning as many as 20 times in the prior year. Perhaps not surprisingly, these were the same women who tanned the most prior to their diagnosis. More than half of those who continued to tan reported feelings associated with addiction. This included guilt and a sense of needing to tan first thing in the morning. “This is not surprising at all,” explained Dr. Steven Feldman, a dermatologist at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. “If you take skin cells in culture and expose them to UV light,they make endorphins, those feel-good molecules.”

Source: Reuters


This information is solely for informational and educational purposes only. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, family planning, child psychology, marriage counseling and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care or mental health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of NaturalFamilyOnline.com or the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, application of medication or any other action involving the care of yourself or any family members which results from reading this site. It is always best to speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Additional information contained in our Legal Statement

What does your weekly dinner look like?
The whole family dines together at home
The whole family dines together at a restaurant
Parents and children eat separately
Whoever is around eats together
Every family member for themselves!
Total votes: 5755