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Tan-happy Germans double skin cancer risk

The Local · 27 Apr 2012, 07:02

Published: 27 Apr 2012 07:02 GMT+02:00

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The chance of developing a malignant melanoma doubles if a person uses sun-beds regularly up to the age of 35, said Professor Eckhard Breitbart, chairman of the Working Group on Dermatological Prevention (ADP).

He said each year of sun-bed use increased the risk of developing the very dangerous form of skin cancer by three percent, and that risk increase was irreversible.

Experts gathered in Berlin this week for an international workshop on the health risks of sun-bed use. French and Italian scientists presented the collective results of nine international sun-bed studies.

The overriding conclusion for the 4.8 million German sun-bed users, was that regularly frequenting a tanning salon – between once and twice a month for a number of years – considerably increases the risk of getting skin cancer.

Malignant melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer. The often dark-coloured skin growths contain cancerous cells that can spread into the lymphatic system. In 2008 alone, the Robert Koch Institute calculated that 17,800 new cases of malignant melanoma were diagnosed in Germany, and 2,500 people died as a result of the disease.

A recent study funded by German Cancer Aid found that 3.5 million under-36s identified themselves as regular tanners. Around 167,000 of them were believed to be under-age and using the salons illegally.

Women between the ages of 18 -25 were found to be the group who used tanning beds the most.

A number of research groups believe that there is no scientific proof behind the argument that UV sun-beds have therapeutic benefits. “Visiting a tanning salon has no positive effect on a person’s health. It does not increase vitamin-D production nor does it strengthen the immune system,” said Professor Sven Schneider, who was involved in the study.

Story continues below…

There are around 50,000 sun beds in Germany. A normal model pumps out UV rays that are as strong as the midday sun at the equator and many are thought to be stronger.

DPA/The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:38 April 27, 2012 by euan.dykes
Of cause wanting to change the appearance of ones skill is nothing new. If I recall in the Victorian times women tried to make their skin as white as possible, and effectively poisoning themselves in the process.

So why is having tanned skin today seen as a good thing? In the Victorian times if you were tanned it conveyed to others that you worked in the fields and therefore are of working class. Buy I think today if you have an all over tan it conveys to others that you can afford to take many holidays to sunny destinations. So tanning salons are just a new way of creating this illusion, but which comes at a cost to society. In the end society is going to have to deal with the long term effects; cancer treatment; chemotherapy etc. But in the next decade or two we are going to have many people in retirement homes and Doctors and Nurses will be so busy dealing with their problems, who's going to have time for these cancer patents?
11:33 April 27, 2012 by Tangential
Killing skin = bad. Duh.

Just ask any Aussie about being sun-safe.
10:38 April 30, 2012 by Sastry.M
Gendered bodies symbolically signify procreative physical contraptions of human spiritual aspirations and desires, to be discharged during individual life spans on earth. Considered factually, even male human bodies are feminine by constructional propriety because only women conceive, develop inside spatial womb and deliver into outside world.

All biological programmes are harmoniously embedded while gendered fetal development itself encompassing melanin skin pigmentations as well as hairy matrices, supportive to external physical growth.

It looks as though that certain common minimum requirements are automatically programmed commensurate to some necessitated biological concern, common to both gendered bodies.

In addition to the findings of above reported study a more serious damage is probably entertained by permanent epilation of adolescent hairy matrices that develop and displayed commonly under arm pits as well as on pubic areas of both males and females reaching an average age of puberty. I presume this natural development as some minimum biological requirement contributed under feminine propriety as mentioned above and the subject discussed sometime earlier in The Local forum..

Women are prompted to hate these terminal hairy matrices as unaesthetic and consider it as unwanted, exploiting a sense of shame and shyness. If skin tanning should purport an aesthetic appearance in spite of risking vulnerability to skin cancer what should a treatment of laser burnt permanent epilation of deeper follicled hair structures should sacrifice for the sake of skin depth beautification?

Men are physical products of mothers who are turn Earth¦#39;s natural representatives of Divine Creation. One seed of sperm among many million donated by man under gendered cohabitation could be picked up by only one egg prepared and released in ovum per mensem, which is fertilized and delivered as offspring of life¦#39;s concern. Hence man should weigh nature¦#39;s prime concern first keeping aesthetic concerns next with a mind of caring love receptive to natural aesthetics.
19:30 June 8, 2012 by raandy
I would assume that people dubious to the effects of a sun bed on your skin believe as most smokers that health problems will happen to the other person and not to them. To deny the findings is to be in denial.
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