In Hampton Roads, it is not unusual to see patrons walking in and out of the many tanning salons along the Virginia Beach oceanfront, as well as salons in Chesapeake, Norfolk, and Newport News. As good as one may look and feel with a suntan, the risks of developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, are extremely high. Pierce & Thornton has successfully represented in Court the families of clients whose physicians failed to diagnose melanoma, leading to the clients’ deaths.
A recent study released by the International Agency for Research on Cancer concludes that using a tanning bed before age 30 increases the risk of developing melanoma by 75%. The ultraviolet rays emitted by tanning beds were once deemed to “probably” cause cancer; they are now included in the “most dangerous” category of carcinogens, along with plutonium and radium, according to the IARC study.
In 2009, the American Cancer Society estimates that 68,720 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed and 8,650 patients will die from it. The incidence of melanoma has increased dramatically in the past two decades. So, before heading out for a tanning session, it would be wise to consider the long-term consequences of using the “electric beach”.