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Tanning Beds And Skin Cancer; The Perks And Perils Of Getting Perfectly Tanned Skin In Minutes

First Posted: Jan 20, 2017 04:00 AM EST

Everyone wants to get that gorgeous-looking perfectly tanned skin tone and using tanning beds to get one is not uncommon. However, very few know about the long-time impacts of these tanning bed sessions. According to the recently released tanning bed use statistics report, 1.35 million people in Canada still prefer taking tanning bed sessions either on a regular basis, especially before heading to beaches. The reason behind is the general notion that getting a "base tan" can prevent future sunburns and skin irritation.

The report stated that very few people are aware of the potential health risks and the inter-relationships between tanning beds and skin cancer. The harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation used in it can cause sunburns, skin damage, aging and suppress the immune system of the body. All these factors further increase the probability of development of skin cancer.

The Canadian Cancer Society data indicate that skin cancer is the most prevalent cancer type in Canada. The increasing number of people using tanning beds multiplies their risk for developing the disease in future, Global News reported.

Rob Cunningham, senior policy analyst of Canadian Cancer Society, said that, "Tanning beds can give off almost five times more radiation than the sun and that radiation causes skin cancer."

In the past years, since the use of tanning beds became increasingly popular among minors, especially high school students, the legal age for getting a tan was increased to 18. "We've seen bans across the country stopping minors from using tanning beds. It's something we worked on for all provincial governments because this is an important cause of skin cancer," Cunningham said.

Annette Cyr, skin cancer survivor and co-founder of the Melanoma Network of Canada, is working on educating people regarding the dangerous health complications associated with tanning beds. Cyr shares her own horrific experiences and hopes that it will help discourage people from using these dangerous devices, CBC News reported.

"It was just horrific, absolutely horrific. It's been a 16-year battle with this stuff. I hope to never have to deal with it again but there's no guarantees," Cyr said.

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