PNS Daily News - September 18, 2019 

President Trump visits California, targeting its homelessness crisis and environmental protections; and Tennessee is a top destination for out-of-state women seeking abortions.

2020Talks - September 18, 2019. (3 min.)  

Interfaith Alliance's Connie Ryan and Family Leader's Bob Vander Plaats on their differing views of religion's role in politics; and former Rep. Mark Sanford confers with cardboard cutout of President Trump.

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Texas an Example During Skin Cancer Prevention Month

May 2, 2011

AUSTIN, Texas - With proms, graduations and summer just around the corner, health experts have a message for anyone tempted to hit the tanning bed for a nice seasonal glow: Don't do it. There is a direct connection between indoor tanning and melanoma, the deadliest of all skin cancers, according to Dr. Kari Kendra, an associate professor with the James Cancer Hospital at Ohio State University.

Kendra, a specialist in medical oncology, says research shows regular tanning-bed use increases a person's melanoma risk by 75 percent.

"In addition to the cancer risk, it's a very short-term change. The more tanning bed use that people have, the faster their skin will look older - we call it photo-aging. They're going to age much faster and look worse than someone who avoids it."

Unlike natural sunlight, the light used for indoor tanning does not produce the pigment that protects the skin from ultra-violet rays naturally, nor does it stimulate the body to produce vitamin D. In some states, such as California and Ohio, lawmakers are considering legislation that would ban anyone under age 18 from using a tanning bed without a doctor's approval. For now, Texas leads the nation in age-restriction laws, banning anyone under age 16.5. Critics say it should be up to parents to make such decisions.

Since May is National Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month, this is a good time to establish proactive cancer-prevention habits, Kendra advises. She encourages people of all ages to perform skin checks once a month.

"Look behind your legs and have somebody look at your back and the back of your neck and ears. What you're particularly watching out for are any moles that are changing in color, size or shape."

If such moles are found, a physician should be consulted, she says.

Many use tanning beds to achieve a healthy-looking glow, but Kendra says much safer ways exist to keep skin looking good.

"For those who like to have that pigment color in their skin, tanning creams and those sorts of things are much, much safer than using a tanning bed. To look healthy, you eat healthy, you exercise and then your skin will be healthy."

She says it's also critical to take precautions in natural sunlight. She suggests avoiding sun exposure between noon and 3 p.m., and wearing sunscreen, clothing, sunglasses and wide-brim hats to protect the skin.

Peter Malof, Public News Service - TX