Try digitalPLUS for 10 days for only $0.99

Readers Respond

News Opinion Readers Respond

Prevention is the best defense against deadly skin cancers [Letter]

Thanks for your recent editorial supporting a ban on indoor tanning by minors ("Ban the booth," Jan. 20).

As a melanoma survivor, I know the pain and uncertainty of going through treatment for that illness. My melanoma was probably caused by years of being in the outdoors as a kid before sunscreen was even invented. I am grateful for the treatment I received at Johns Hopkins Hospital that saved my life, and I now volunteer for the American Cancer Society to help others fight cancer. I must now wear lots of sun block and a hat any time I'm out in the sun for more than a few minutes.

Prevention is one of the best ways to fight melanoma, which is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Maryland's melanoma rate is among the highest in the country. We clearly don't live in the Sunbelt, so there has to be another explanation.

One reason has to be indoor tanning. Studies have shown that indoor tanning use before the age of 35 increases melanoma risk by 75 percent. You can look around our local shopping centers, especially those near college campuses and high schools, and see the indoor tanning businesses that appeal to youth who are especially apt to use tanning beds.

Prom season is coming up, and many high school girls will get indoor tans because they think tans look good with their prom gowns. But exposure to ultraviolet radiation increases skin cancer risk, and indoor tanning uses UV rays. About a third of high school girls report using tanning beds, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control, and the numbers are growing quickly.

The Maryland General Assembly is about to begin debate on this issue in Annapolis. Lawmakers have an opportunity to save lives by prohibiting the use of cancer-causing UV tanning devices by youth under the age of 18. We protect our minors from the dangers of cigarettes and alcohol by placing restrictions on their access; we should do the same with indoor tanning.

James A. Higbee, Towson

-
To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com. Please include your name and contact information.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Md. ignores teen cancer risk

    Md. ignores teen cancer risk

    By rejecting state Sen. Jamie Raskin's bill to make tanning-salon ultraviolet ray machines off-limits to minors, the Senate's Finance Committee has put itself at odds with every major national and state medical group to look at the issue, including the American Academy of Dermatology, the American...

  • No dancing on Red Line's grave

    No dancing on Red Line's grave

    Spare us the dancing on the grave of the Red Line by those who have no right to call it a boondoggle ("Red Line was a boondoggle," June 30). We'll never know if it was or not since it won't be built in my lifetime. Certainly, I can't foresee any of Baltimore's myriad social problems improving without...

  • Ban smokeless tobacco from baseball

    Ban smokeless tobacco from baseball

    It is time for Major League Baseball to take a stand and ban smokeless tobacco, period. It is a foul, disgusting and dangerous addiction. It's never talked about until you hear of a player or former player who is diagnosed with mouth cancer or a player such as Tony Gwynn dies from the disease (...

  • EPA mercury ruling was even-handed

    EPA mercury ruling was even-handed

    The Sun's article on mercury limits incorrectly asserts that the U.S. Supreme Court split on ideological grounds ("Justices rule against EPA power plant mercury limits," June 29). On the contrary, the Supreme Court split was one between original intent, honest interpretations of the Constitution...

  • Reimer was The Sun's best

    Reimer was The Sun's best

    Congratulations to Susan Reimer on her retirement. I will definitely miss her column. It was the only thing worth reading in what they call The Sun ("Susan Reimer signs off," June 25).

  • Clean air with taxes, not regulations

    Clean air with taxes, not regulations

    Though the recent Supreme Court ruling against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's power plant emissions regulations was disappointing, I was happy to see The Sun emphasize the example our state has set by implementing strict anti-pollution laws in the article, "Justices rule against EPA...

  • Schools need resources, not reform

    Schools need resources, not reform

    There are so many assumptions embedded within Donald Manekin's recent commentary that I find problematic that I'm not sure where to even begin ("Reinventing Baltimore's schools," June 29).

  • Invest in buses, not Red Line

    Invest in buses, not Red Line

    Now that Baltimore's leaders are seeking a way to revive the Red Line, I want to know where the $288 million allocated for that project went ("City leaders seek a way to revive Red Line plan," June 30). Before these folk approach Gov. Larry Hogan, a full accounting is in order. The taxpayers of...

Comments
Loading

75°