Melanoma survivors using tanning beds

Photo credit: istockphoto.com

About a quarter of those who have survived melanoma leave the sunscreen at home on sunny days, and some survivors still use tanning beds, according to research by Yale Cancer Center (YCC) that was presented at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2013 in Washington, D.C. Both tanning beds and unprotected sun exposure raise the risk of life-threatening skin cancer. Using data from the National Health Interview Survey, conducted annually by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Yale team found that most of a sample of 171 melanoma survivors were taking precautions, but 15.4 percent said that they rarely or never stay in the shade; 27.3 percent said that they never wear sunscreen when they’re outside on sunny days for more than an hour; and 2.1 percent reported using an indoor tanning bed during the previous year. “It’s incredibly disturbing that even after getting the disease once, some survivors continue these practices, which would put them at greater risk of getting it again,” said author Anees B. Chagpar, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of surgical oncology at YCC and director of the Breast Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven.


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