The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005

What Doesn't Kill You Cures You 

Interestingly enough, I found both of the following articles on the MSNBC front page yesterday. One was a new item from Reuters, and the other was an AP article rehashed from several months ago. The contrast was hilarious.

First was the new article from Reuters on the dangers that young people are putting themselves in by tanning:

The latest research shows that Donaldson is not unique among the young, who are experiencing a big increase in skin cancer. Even after research has tied tanning to skin cancers like melanoma and basal cell carcinoma, young people still see a tan as a fashion accessory and can be lax about protection.

In a recent American Academy of Dermatology poll, only half of those aged 18-24 said they are very or somewhat careful to guard against too much exposure.

An estimated 1.3 million cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year, according to the American Cancer Society. Melanoma will account for nearly 60,000 of them but cause four-fifths of skin cancer deaths.

Then there is the rehashed AP article from a few months ago:

The vitamin is D, nicknamed the "sunshine vitamin" because the skin makes it from ultraviolet rays. Sunscreen blocks its production, but dermatologists and health agencies have long preached that such lotions are needed to prevent skin cancer.

Now some scientists are questioning that advice.

The reason is that vitamin D increasingly seems important for preventing and even treating many types of cancer. In the last three months alone, four separate studies found it helped protect against lymphoma and cancers of the prostate, lung and, ironically, the skin. The strongest evidence is for colon cancer.

Yep... no confusion there.

Update: And if all that isn't enough, apparently now sunbathing is addictive (H/T to The Agitator):

The research, published in the Archives of Dermatology, suggested up to 53% of beach-goers could be dependent on getting a tan.

Cancer experts said it provided "an interesting insight into why people continue to binge-sunbathe".

However, an addiction scientist said it was more likely to be an "extreme behaviour", rather than an addiction.

The scientists at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston used recognised criteria for assessing whether patients have drug or alcohol dependency.

They asked 145 beach-goers about their sun-seeking habits, using questions such as "do you try to cut down on the time you spend in the sun but still find yourself sun-tanning?"

A class action lawsuit is being prepared against Big Sunscreen for the addictive smells of coconut.

Update II: I wonder... if sunbathing is addictive, would that make artifical tanning lotions the sunbathing equivolent of a nicotine patch? Maybe they're missing a whole new marketing segment.


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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.

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