Cancer evidence adds weight to calls for solarium ban

Wednesday 3 October, 2012

An international study, published in the British Medical Journal this week, found that people who used tanning beds were more likely to develop two types of non-melanoma skin cancer, basal and squamous cell carcinoma.

SunSmart Manager, Jen Makin, said: "Already we know that the risk of melanoma from sunbed use is 87 per cent if people are exposed before the age of 35. Now we are also seeing that young people are also at risk of developing basal and squamous cell carcinoma, common skin cancers that are generally found in older people. Although less dangerous than melanoma, these cancers can spread to other parts of the body if left untreated."

"This adds to an undeniable body of evidence showing that solarium use is irrefutably linked to skin cancer."

"Now that New South Wales (NSW) has announced a ban and with Queensland's health minister giving it serious consideration, it is the time for Victoria to take action. We are calling on the government to ban solariums in this state and consider an outright ban nationally."

Just a few weeks ago, SunSmart commemorated 5 years since Clare Oliver died from melanoma at just 26 years of age after spending the last weeks of her life campaigning for a sunbed ban.

161 dermatologists and cancer specialists and clinicians of the Victorian Co-operative Oncology Group (VCOG) joined together to call on the government to take action and ban solariums in this state.

"Our research shows that regulations are not being adhered to. We have the support of the medical community for a ban. Now we know solariums are even more dangerous than previously thought. The time has come to ban solariums in order to help reduce skin cancer incidence in this state."

An estimated one in six melanomas in young Australians aged 18-29 could be prevented if solariums were shut down.

It has been estimated that each year in Australia, 281 new melanoma cases, 43 melanoma-related deaths, and 2,572 new cases of squamous cell carcinoma are attributable to solarium use, at a cost to the health system of around $3 million.

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