Tanning bed ban for teens

Written by  Facing Cancer Together
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The American Cancer Society says research shows people who use tanning beds are much more likely to develop melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, than those who never did.


The American Cancer Society also quoted findings from an International Agency for Cancer Research study that said the chance of developing skin cancer increases by 75% among those who frequented tanning beds before the age of 30.

With those statistics in mind, Republican State Representative RoseMarie Swanger of Lebanon County has proposed legislation that would ban anyone under the age of 18 from using an indoor, commercial tanning bed.

As part of witf's Emmy Award and Edward R. Murrow Award winning Facing Cancer Together Initiative, Rep. Swanger and Penn State Hershey Medical Center Dr. Gavin Robertson, who has studied melanoma extensively, appear in this episode of Radio Smart Talk.

Click here to listen to this program.

576px-melanoma vs normal mole abcd rule nci visuals onlineTo recognize a mole that may be a melanoma, remember the ABCD's --
A for asymmetry
B for border irregularity
C for different colors like black and blue
D for diameter, greater than six millimeters which is about the size of a pencil eraser.

Unlike basal cell and squamous cell cancer where the problem is cumulative exposure to the sun, melanoma is more related to severe episodic exposure. "I've learned that many of my patients with melanoma, but not all of them, they have a memory of a severe, severe sunburn," says Dr. Steven Pandelidis, a surgical oncologist with Apple Hill Surgical Associates in York, PA.

He emphasizes that its easy for any well-trained family physician to remove a mole and send it to a pathologist to find out what it is. "If you don't like the way something looks, you go see your doctor, you say 'I'm worried about this,' and the doctor will look it over, and if there's cause for worry, he or she should remove it."

Related stories:
Melanoma 101: How to detect it and prevent it
Learn more about 
skin cancer and what you need to know
Skin cancer, suncreen and UV safety
7 tips for keeping your baby safe in the sun
Summer sun safety for cancer patients
A melanoma survivor's Amazon adventure
Bev Centini's melanoma story
Read an Expert Journal blog about skin cancer warning signs and prevention.

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