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Burning Desire To Get A Tan - People Risk Life For That Sun-kissed Look

By Michelle Duffy     Aug 4, 2007 in Health
When campaigns to get people to cover up this summer have supposedly succeeded, then why is it that more sunbathers who have intentions on getting burnt this summer, do so even though they know about the risk of skin cancer?
It is shocking and the worst culprits are those under the age of 35 who will kill, even themselves to get a tan and a tan means to get burnt first.
The UK charity who focuses heavily on the risks of the illness is Cancer Research UK, who have found that despite those knowing the risks of skin cancer and the poor survival rate that goes with it, still will go out and bathe in the sun with insufficient protection in the hope for a luscious tan.
In a recent study the research found that from 400 people polled, over 90% were well aware of what they were doing to their bodies. So why, when we live in a society where we can get the best tans out of a bottle, do people still subject themselves to a disease that can kill?
Should we put it down to the lack of information in cancer campaigns? Not at all, if these people know that they are doing to themselves, then the vital information is getting though. Yet the study also showed that 40% of the people studied thought that they had to get burnt so that they could achieve the best possible tan.
It is these people that need to be targeted according to the charity who say that to get burned in the sun increases the rick of skin cancer by double.
So, just in case we are not sure how to behave in the sun at this time of year when it's at it's strongest. The UK charity suggest the following:
Spend time in the shade between 1100 and 1500.
Make sure you never burn
Aim to cover up with a t-shirt, hat and sunglasses
Use factor 15+ sunscreen generously and regularly
Report mole changes or unusual skin growths promptly to your doctor
It is still the most common of the cancers registered in the UK each year and it is increasing every summer. So far, the rate is at 75,000 new cases in Britain alone every year, and just under 2,000 of those each year, will die from it. In the last two decades, the cancer better known as malignant melanoma has killed more people and produced more sufferers than any other cancer, yet it can be prevented from simply staying out of the sun.
Professor Lesley Rhodes, who is a Cancer Research UK dermatologist, told BBC News,
"Getting sun-burnt increases the risk of skin cancer in general. But the kind of sunbathing binges that happen when people go to much hotter climates and bake on the beach is particularly dangerous. This kind of short intense exposure to the sun, leading to burning, particularly increases the risk of malignant melanoma."
Even more worrying is that thousands now think that the best way to avoid the cancer is to get under a sun bed instead, yet even this action has equally grave consequences. Campaign manager for the charity, Rebecca Russell said,
"We know that sunbeds increase the risk of skin cancer. Anyone under 18 should never go on a sunbed. Nor should any adult with fair skin, lots of moles and freckles or a history of skin cancer."
So come on folks - if you really want that tan, reach for the bottle - it will wash off - skin cancer, on the other hand, won't....
More about Sunburn, Risk, Cancer