What you didn’t know about tanning BY: Vanessa Dwyer Staff Writer

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. One out of five Americans are going to develop cancer in their lifetime. Nearly 2 million people are diagnosed each and every year, and reports of new cases of cancer are being reported every day, according to American Cancer Society. For those who love tanning outside or using tanning beds, you should read on. Do you really know the damage caused by the sun or UV rays? For those who enjoy “tanning”, there is more risk than many are aware of. There are cells in the upper layer of the skin that form or produce a pigment called melanin. This is what gives our skin its color. The ultraviolet rays, from the sun, damage the skin even more by formulating an increase of the pigment melanin. Unfortunately, the melanin does not completely protect the skin, and makes you more susceptible to damage. Skin cancer is directly connected to the sun, and is why tanning is just no good. When tanning, you should be aware of the possible side effects because simple sunburn could potentially turn into skin cancer later on in life. Skin cancer starts in the top layers skin, and then damages its DNA. The DNA replicates forming a tumor within the skin. The cancer appears on the epidermis of the upper layer of the skin where it, according to Skin Cancer Foundation, is visible to the eyes. This cancer is called Melanoma, which is the most dangerous form of cancer. If Melanoma isn’t treated early, it’s impossible to cure because it spreads quickly and aggressively to other parts of your skin. It is very important to know your skin well because Melanoma develops as a mole to your skin, which is usually a harmless brown spots. A recent report by the Skin Cancer Foundation states, after trying to reclassify the UV light from tanning beds, it was found that the rays produced are far more risky and that it is more dangerous to tan in a bed than it is directly from the sun. There are still millions of women and men, throughout the world, who are misled by the many advertisements of many cosmetic companies, and how much danger you are in exposing your skin to any source of UV radiation. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, The chances of developing melanoma the first time using a tanning bed is 20 percent and every other time increases the risk two percent more. There warning signs have been placed on each bed, and on other materials, to warn young people of its effects prior to their use, so they can be well aware of the risks. A resident who chose to be anonymous of Cumberland County admits, “Yes I tan. During the winter months once every two weeks and the summer I let the sun take its course. I know the risk of tanning, but I like the enhancing features and it adds to my confidence.” She also admits “She tries not to do it so much.” One of the main ways to reduce the risk is to simply not tan as much, outdoors and especially in indoor tanning beds. The risk caused by tanning definitely outweighs the reward.



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