Nation & World Briefs 07-30-14 Skin cancer rates spike following generation of sunbathing, tanning beds

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WASHINGTON -- Stop sunbathing and using indoor tanning beds, the acting U.S. surgeon general warned in a report released Tuesday that cites an alarming 200 percent jump in deadly melanoma cases since 1973.

The report blames a generation of sun worshipping for the $8 billion spent to treat all forms of skin cancer each year.

Rear Adm. Boris Lushniak said state and local officials need to do more to help people cover up, such as providing more shade at parks and sporting events. Schools should encourage kids to wear hats and sunscreen and schedule outdoor activities when the sun is low in the sky. And colleges and universities should eliminate indoor tanning beds on campus much as they would prohibit tobacco use, he added.

"We need more states and institutions on board with these policies that discourage or restrict indoor tanning by our youth," Lushniak said. "Tanned skin is damaged skin."

The surgeon general's "call to action" plan is part of a broader push this year by government officials and public health advocates to raise awareness on what they say has become a major public health problem. While other cancers such as lung cancer are decreasing, skin cancer is rising rapidly. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 5 million people are treated for skin cancer each year. And the number of Americans with skin cancer in the past three decades eclipse the number of all other cancers combined.

Cold is top culprit: The weather kills at least 2,000 Americans each year and nearly two-thirds of the deaths are from the cold, according to a new government report. That may surprise some people, the researchers acknowledged. Hurricanes, tornadoes and heat waves "get more publicity, for some reason, than cold-related deaths," said Deborah Ingram, one of the report's authors. The report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed U.S. deaths attributed to the cold, the heat, storms, floods and lightning. It used national death certificate information for five years.

Indiana sheriff indicted: Daniel N. Rodden, a southern Indiana sheriff accused of patronizing a prostitute, gave the woman a deputy's badge and uniform so she could get hotel discounts, then later encouraged her to get rid of the evidence, authorities said Tuesday. A federal grand jury indictment charges the Clark County sheriff with lying to FBI agents and advising the woman to dispose of the credentials and uniform. Rodden's arrest came weeks after a suburban Indianapolis sheriff resigned over his own relationship with a prostitute.

Centenarian gets honorary diploma: East Providence, R.I., centenarian Mary Moniz has received something she'd wanted for more than eight decades: her high school diploma. Moniz received the honorary diploma from the Fall River, Mass., school department on Saturday. She turned 100 on Monday. Moniz attended high school in Fall River. But she went for only two years because her family moved back to the Azores amid the Great Depression. In 1949, she moved back to the United States. But she never completed high school.

Infested with rats: Rats are on the rampage in the elegant garden of the Louvre Museum, so bold they romp on the grass in broad daylight, defying death threats from sanitation workers and scaring tourists. The hot weather in Paris has brought many picnicking visitors to the garden, whose garbage is a feast for the rats. And they're getting help from animal lovers who dig up poison and feed them water. Maybe it's the "Ratatouille" effect, with the beloved French rat Remy from Disney's computer animated film helping real-life rats win Parisian hearts. The vermin are finding a lifeline from "people who don't want us to kill animals," said Jean-Claude Ndzana Ekani, a museum employee who was working Tuesday with technicians from an extermination company.

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