We Are Sunshine

Sun Scare’s fuzzy math goes un-checked in recent article. Smart Tan responds.

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

“Among the 1 million new cases of skin cancer reported in 2008, about 2,000 of them were women age 15 to 29 years old. But despite these scary stats, teen girls are still frequenting indoor tanning facilities more than ever, according to researchers at the American Cancer Society.”

2009-01-22-quote-of-the-weak-tanningnews-copy.jpg— Women’s health web site Smart Tan Vice President Joseph Levy submitted the following response:

Why isn’t anyone doing the math here? You just wrote an article saying that just two-tenths of one percent (0.002) of all skin cancer cases are women aged 15-29 – a tiny number on anyone’s scale. And those are your numbers. At the same time, look up the National Cancer Institute’s data and Health Canada’s data yourself and you’ll find that melanoma mortality is decreasing in women under age 50, but is skyrocketing in men over age 50.

Yet absolutely none of the public health messaging about skin cancer is directed at older men. Nothing in your article is directed at the group that is seeing the actual increase!

Bottom line: No study has ever isolated non-burning UV exposure — from the sun or from an indoor tanning unit —- as the causative factor for melanoma, which is more common in people who work indoors than in those who work outdoors and occurs most often on parts of the body that don’t get regular sunlight. The message about UV — thanks to recent research on the role of vitamin D (The Sunshine Vitamin) — is coming back to center. Please visit for balanced information on this topic.

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