Tuesday April 24 8:38 PM ET|
"Not Even Skin Cancer Threat Deters Some Sun Seekers"
Not Even Skin Cancer Threat Deters Some Sun Seekers
By Patricia Reaney
LONDON (Reuters) - Some people are so determined to look good
that not even the threat of skin cancer can deter them from
seeking a perfect tan, according to a survey released on
Firm in the belief that a suntan makes them look healthy and
attractive, they are willing to risk premature aging and cancer
in their quest for that bronzed glow.
Fourteen percent of Britons who were questioned for a poll
commissioned by the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) said
they would still want a suntan even after experiencing personal
worries about potential skin cancer.
"I'm concerned about how desperate some people are for a
tan," said Dr. Charlotte Proby, a dermatologist at the ICRF, a
leading cancer research charity.
"A suntan shows that the skin is being damaged by too much
sunlight and is trying to protect itself. Sun-seeking behavior
and inadequate sun protection increases the risk of the skin
being sunburned and this damage will increase the risk of
developing skin cancer."
Only 18 percent of the 1,000 people who took part in the poll
said they did not like having a tan. About three-quarters of both
men and women prefer the sun-kissed look.
Nearly half said they spend their holidays in hot climates to
get a tan but 68 percent said they believe the sun can damage the
skin. Only a quarter associated suntans with wealth.
Despite increased awareness about the dangers of skin cancer,
which strikes 44,000 Britons each year and kills about 2,000, a
quarter of 15-24 year-olds use only a low factor sunscreen and 14
percent admitted using no protection against the sun's harmful
Most Common Cancer Death In Young People
Skin cancer is the most common cause of death by cancer among
young people aged 25-20 year-olds. The number of deaths due to
the disease has risen by about 50 percent in all age groups over
the past 15 years.
Melanoma is the most deadly of the three forms of the disease
and also the rarest. It accounts for roughly 10 percent of
reported cases and spreads rapidly throughout the body forming
secondary tumors in the liver, lungs, bones or brain.
Basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of the illness, is
usually curable if treated early. Squamous cell carcinoma, is
less common, but like melanoma it can spread quickly.
To avoid skin cancer doctors advise people to protect
themselves from the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays with a
sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 15.
Hats and sunglasses are also recommended.
People should also avoid sunbathing between 11 in the morning
and three in the afternoon when the sun is the strongest.
The appearance of new moles on the skin or changes in size,
shape or color of existing moles, or any oozing, crusting or
bleeding, should be reported to a doctor.
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