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Artificial tanners at high risk for melanoma

tanningbedSummer’s almost here, but if you live in Boston you might not realize it. With the exception of a few bright afternoons, cold and rain have dominated June’s forecasts, which isn’t unusual considering New England’s somewhat schizophrenic weather patterns.

But if the tanned appearance of many young Bostonians was your only gauge of summer, you might think the city has been 80 degrees and sunny since December.  Many New England teenagers, especially girls, use artificial tanning beds prior to beach season to build up a “healthy base tan,” before that first trip to the beach. While a preseason bronze may lessen beach anxiety for the self-conscious sunbather, it also makes the tanner 75 percent more likely to develop melanoma than non-tanning bed users according to a study released in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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