Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

There Is No Such Thing As A Safe Tan: GW Researchers Break Tanning Misconceptions

Blue Ultraviolet Light Lamp

Blue Ultraviolet Light Lamp (Photo credit: epSos.de)

From the 24 July 2012 article at Medical News Today

A new study conducted by GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) researchers Edward C. De Fabo, Ph.D., Frances P. Noonan, Ph.D., and Anastas Popratiloff, M.D., Ph.D., has been published in the journal Nature Communications. Their paper, entitled “Melanoma induction by ultraviolet A but not ultraviolet B radiation requires melanin pigment,” was published in June 2012.

“This is the first time that UV-induced melanin formation (tanning), traditionally thought to protect against skin cancer, is shown to be directly involved in melanomaformation in mammals,” said De Fabo, who is professor emeritus at SMHS. “Skin melanoma is the most lethal of the skin cancers. Our study shows that we were able to discover this new role for melanin by cleanly separating UVA from UVB and exposing our experimental melanoma animal model with these separated wavebands using our unique UV light system designed and set up at GW. Dermatologists have been warning for years there is no such thing as a safe tan and this new data appears to confirm this.” ..

..

“Also new is our discovery that UV induction of melanin, as a melanoma-causing agent, works when skin is exposed only to UVA and not UVB radiation. This is especially important since melanoma formation has been correlated with sunbed use as many epidemiological studies have shown. One possible reason for this is that tanning lamps are capable of emitting UVA radiation up to 12 times, or higher, the UVA intensity of sunlight at high noon. Melanin plus UVA is known to cause photo-oxidation, a suspected, but still to be proved, mechanism for the formation of melanoma as we describe in our study,” De Fabo said. 

July 25, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Health, Consumer Safety | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

[Infographic] Killer Sunshine

From the post at InsuranceQuotes

If you’re like most people, chances are you’ll take any opportunity to throw on a pair of shorts and soak up a little vitamin D. Summer is the season for taking advantage of every opportunity you can to be outdoors, and while you’re enjoying the weather, you’re also probably happy to work on achieving a nice golden tan while you’re at it. But through all of the barbecuing, swimming, hiking, and good old fashioned sunbathing, it might just slip your mind to lather on a little SPF 40. When it comes to enjoying the great outdoors, it’s in your best interest to make sure that you do so with the proper protection. Skin cancer rates have skyrocketed in recent years, and while popular culture dictates that a beautifully bronzed body is the ultimate summertime achievement, the obsession with having a great tan is also having some scary health effects. While other cancer rates decline, fatalities from skin cancer continue to rise, and most people don’t realize just how much their risk increases with too much sunshine. While a little dose of golden rays is good for you, most people take that to an extreme, and the impacts of long-term tanning can be more deadly than they realize. The following infographic looks into the causes and effects of the rising skin cancer rates, and it might make you think twice before skipping out on the sunscreen.

Skin Cancer Infographic

July 12, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Summer Safety- Swimming and Tanning

A few Web sites and Web pages on Swimming Safety

–> Where is it safe to swim? (American Red Cross) outlines related risks and water safety tips

–>Swim Healthy, Swim Safely (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) includes topics as Swimmer’s Ear,
Water-Related Injuries,Healthy Swimming

–> Drowning Links (MedlinePlus)

…and a few tanning sites (remember, tanning is a response to injury by UV light and not a sign of good health)

–>Basic Information About Skin Cancer (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) includes topics as Prevention and Risk Factors.

–> Sun Exposure (US National Library of Medicine) includes links Tanning Beds Raise Melanoma Risk and Indoor Tanning: The Risks of Ultraviolet Rays (Food and Drug Administration)

May 26, 2010 Posted by | Consumer Health | , | Leave a comment

   

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