A Texas tanning salon is advertising that indoor tanning prevents skin cancer, reported KVII-TV’s ConnectAmarillo.com.
Neon Sun tanning salon’s owner, Blake Goldston, claims to have reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) that back his claims. The salon’s sign says “…mortality rate is cut in half for people who tan.”
"There is no research that exists that shows a causal between indoor tanning and increased incidents of skin cancer and melanoma," Goldston told ConnectAmarillo.com.
On July 29, the acting U.S. surgeon general released a report warning against sunbathing and indoor tanning bed use, citing a 200 percent jump in deadly melanoma cases since 1973. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 5 million people are treated for skin cancer annually. Melanoma — the deadliest form of skin cancer — kills 9,000 people a year from a disease that is mostly preventable.
However, Goldston believes the studies don’t show enough evidence and that the incidents are actually decreasing.
“It’s interesting that in the U.S , the incidence of melanoma has been on the decline and I quote from the American Cancer Society ‘is significantly less than 2/10th of 1 percent,’ and to the people who tan indoor is exactly the same. There's just no evidence showing anything different," Goldston said.
Dr. Elaine Cook, a dermatologist in Amarillo, Texas warned that misinformation could be harmful to residents’ health — and that the Neon Sun advertisements are not true.
"According to a study, there's a 55 percent increase of melanoma in people who use tanning beds, and in another study, a 75 percent increase of those who went tanning before the age of 35. Melanoma has been tied to frequent sunburns and tanning beds,” Cook told ConnectAmarillo.com.
In 2014, the American Cancer Society estimates that about 76,100 new melanomas will be diagnosed and about 9,710 people will die from the disease. While melanoma accounts for less than 2 percent of skin cancer cases, it causes the majority of skin cancer deaths.