I watched you roll your eyes last year. I heard you say there was no need to ban minors from using indoor tanning beds, that we should let parents be parents. I shot a dirty look in your direction when you laughed at us and stated, "You can't stop them from spending 7 hours at Virginia Beach, why should we ban this?" I cringed when you acted like you--the people we are supposed to trust to make the best decisions for us--should spend time worrying about other things, not something so silly as a machine that is responsible for the 400,000 cases of skin cancer, about 6,000 of them melanomas, that are estimated to be related to indoor tanning in the United States each year. (Source.)
Well, elected officials we are supposed to trust, the acting Surgeon General disagrees with you.
(l-r) Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Howard Koh, Stacey--ACS CAN volunteer and skin cancer survivor and Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Boris D. Lushniak (source)
"I’ve got to, as acting surgeon general, call out the facts. And the facts are that indoor tanning is a source of ultraviolet radiation, period. Ultraviolet radiation is a known carcinogen, period. This is a needless exposure to ultraviolet radiation. According to research…we’re looking at about 400,000 cases of skin cancer, about 6,000 of them melanomas, that are estimated to be related to indoor tanning in the United States each year. So I have to look at this as being a major problem. We certainly know it’s something that’s become popular amongst youth. And much like the surgeon general comes out very vehemently against youth smoking, I am coming out quite vehemently against youth exposing their skin to ultraviolet radiation in tanning booths."
-Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral (RADM) Boris D. Lushniak, M.D
Today the acting Surgeon General released his Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer. The report says, "Despite efforts to address skin cancer risk factors, such as inadequate sun protection and intentional tanning behaviors, skin cancer rates, including rates of melanoma, have continued to increase in the United States and world wide." The report goes on to share other info that has been gathered and five goals that we need to aim for to solve the "major health problem" of skin cancer.
Acting Surgeon General Dr. Boris Lushniak told CNN, "Until today, the surgeon general has never said, 'UV radiation is bad for you; protect your skin."
This is a game changer, folks.
I also learned that this is the first Call to Action from the Surgeon General in 3 years. The last was regarding mothers and breast feeding.
I could summarize everything for you that the Call to Action stated, but I believe you should take the time to read it yourself. There's some good info there, folks. Info that I do not believe our elected officials can argue against.
To read the summary of The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer: click here.
To read what the American Suntanning Association has to say in response: click here.
To read what the American Cancer Society has to say in response: click here.
To read what the Melanoma Research Foundation has to say in response: click here.
To read what the Skin Cancer Foundation has to say in response: http://www.skincancer.org/news/surgeon
To read what the Melanoma Research Alliance has to say in response: click here.
Article on USA Today regarding this Call to Action: click here.
Article on CNN regarding this Call to Action: click here.
Article on MSN regarding the Surgeon General's report: click here.
I applaud you, Acting Surgeon General Dr. Boris Lushniak, for recognizing the need for this call to action. If states were slow to recognize their important role they have in helping decrease the amount of lives traumatized by skin cancer, this should help enforce why new policies have to be put in place. Too many lives depend on it.
Acting Surgeon General, you've made this melanoma diva a very happy girl.
A step in the right direction....Ah, it feels so good.