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Sunbed cancer risk double that of sunbathing

Published on 17/01/2013

The risk of developing skin cancer from sunbeds is double that of sunbathing in the Mediterranean, according to a new study.

Rates of malignant melanoma have more than quadrupled in the last 30 years

Research carried out on 400 sunbeds in England found that nine in ten of them emitted UV radiation at levels above the British and European standard.

In fact, the average strength of radiation was nearly twice the recommended limit. This means the average skin cancer risk of skin cancer is more than double that of spending the same length of time in the Mediterranean midday summer sun.

One of the sunbeds tested produced a skin cancer risk six times higher than that of sunbathing.

Professor Harry Moseley, consultant medical physicist at University of Dundee and lead author, said: “We hope that these findings will make people think twice before using sunbeds as you can’t be sure how much radiation you’re exposing yourself to when you try to top-up a tan.

Sunbeds have already been classed alongside cigarettes on the list of most cancer causing substances and habits by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Rates of malignant melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, have more than quadrupled in the UK in the last 30 years. This is a faster rise than any other cancer.

Professor Moseley said: "People need to be encouraged to take better care of their skin, otherwise the cases of malignant melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, will continue to increase in England.”

Yinka Ebo, senior health information officer at Cancer Research UK, said: “Research has already shown that using sunbeds for the first time before the age of 35 increases the risk of malignant melanoma by 87 per cent.”

If you want access to the latest cancer drugs and treatments, including those for skin cancer, then look for a medical insurance policy with full cancer cover.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2013

Categories:  Health
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