Lehigh Valley

Surgeon general gets tough on tanning

Surgeon general gets tough on tanning

The American Cancer Society says there are more cases of skin cancer diagnosed than lung, breast, colon and prostate cancer combined.

Now the U.S. surgeon general is weighing in on the issue.

Last year five million people were diagnosed with skin cancer and 9,000 died.

The surgeon general released five goals to try to cut those numbers down.

They are starting with stopping indoor tanning.

"Depending how long you are in the tanning salon you will get about 30 days worth in one shot. Mainly through tanning but it dramatically increases your risk forskin cancers in the long term," said Dr. Rohit Sharma, an oncologist with
Lehigh Valley Health Network's Cancer Center.

The surgeon general also recommends providing more information to the public about healthy choices for sun protection, like hats and long sleeves.

He also suggests strengthening research, evaluation and monitoring like what is currently being done at LVHN.

The surgeon general says school districts should become more involved in education.

Local districts are already ahead of the curve, teaching these lessons to pre-K parents, in health classes and in athletic programs.

Finally the surgeon general is urging municipalities to plant more shade trees in public spaces.

Whether you slather it on or spray it, reapply sunscreen every four hours and get a skin cancer screening yearly.

If you notice changes in your skin or in moles see a doctor immediately.

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