Tanning Myths: What You Don’t Know Can Burn You

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By Staff Reports

(DGIwire) – What we don’t know, can burn us. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), skin cancer is the most common of all cancers, accounting for nearly half of all cases in the United States. The ACS also notes that more than 3.5 million cases of basal and squamous cell skin cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. each year. Meanwhile, melanoma, the most serious of type of skin cancer, will likely account for more than 76,000 cases of skin cancer in 2014, the ACS says. The numbers are equally alarming in Canada, where the Canadian Cancer Society estimates that 82,600 people will develop skin cancer this year due to excessive sun exposure.

What’s particularly troubling about these statistics is that skin cancer is largely preventable. The main risks are too much sun exposure and the overuse of tanning beds.

According to Prithwish De, an epidemiologist with the Canadian Cancer Society, as reported in The Huffington Post, here are some of the most common myths and realities about tanning:

  1.       Having a tan is healthy. There’s no such thing as a healthy tan. In fact, any change in skin color caused by the sun’s rays indicates skin damage, which can lead to skin cancer.
  2.       Only sunburns can cause cancer, not tans. Again, this is wrong. Any change in skin color from sun exposure indicates damage.
  3.       Only people with the most sensitive type of skin have an increased risk of skin cancer from tanning. Regardless of skin type, tanning increases the risk of skin cancer, although those with fair skin, red hair or multiple or atypical moles are at higher risk.
  4.       Indoor tanning provides safer light than sunlight. There is no safe way to get a tan. In fact, some tanning beds release up to five times more radiation than the sun.
  5.       There is no conclusive evidence that tanning causes cancer. Research has established that exposure to ultraviolet radiation—whether indoors or under a tanning light—is the primary cause of skin cancer.

Therefore if and when cancer occurs, treatment options are needed. OncoSec Medical Inc., is a San Diego-based biomedical company developing a proprietary treatment platform called ImmunoPulse™, which empowers the body’s own immune system to target and destroy cancer cells. ImmunoPulse uses a proprietary electroporation device, which opens temporary pores in the cell membrane, to deliver DNA IL-12. Results to date indicate this has been a safe and effective approach for harnessing the powerful immune-stimulating effects of IL-12 to initiate a systemic immune response. OncoSec’s core focus is on three hard-to-treat skin cancers: metastatic melanoma, Merkel cell carcinoma and cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.

“Like everything else in life, moderation is key when it comes to tanning,” says OncoSec’s President and CEO Punit Dhillon. “Besides limiting one’s exposure in general, wearing the proper amount of protection while one is in the sun is essential. It’s also crucial to seek proper diagnosis and treatment. We believe our technology might one day offer a powerful tool for treating those with skin cancer if study results are positive.”

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