Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Radio Smart Talk: Tanning bed ban for teens; Thon documentary

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Sep 26, 2012 2:28 PM

Radio Smart Talk for Thursday, September 27:

tanning woman.jpgThe American Cancer Society says research shows people who use tanning beds are much more likely to develop melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, than those who never did.  The Cancer Society also quoted findings from an International Agency for Cancer Research study that said the chance of developing skin cancer increases by 75% among those who frequented tanning beds before the age of 30.

With those statistics in mind, Republican State Representative RoseMarie Swanger of Lebanon County has proposed legislation that would ban anyone under the age of 18 from using an indoor, commercial tanning bed.

As part of witf's Emmy Award and Edward R. Murrow Award winning Facing Cancer Together Initiative, Rep. Swanger and Penn State Hershey Medical Center Dr. Gavin Robertson, who has studied melanoma extensively, will appear on Thursday's Radio Smart Talk.

Also, Jeff Hughes, the Executive Producer of the new documentary, Why We Dance: The Story of THON (Thursday 9 p.m. witf-TV) will discuss the film on Thursday's Radio Smart Talk. 

Listen to the program:

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2012-09-27 08:21

    E-mail from Adriana:

    "What can you do now if you used to use tanning beds in your early 20s and want to protect your skin from further damage to prevent skin cancer?"

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2012-09-27 08:28

    E-mail from Manuel:

    "Those of us who are Gaelic/Celtic are well known as fair skinned and burn very easily, are there any studies or statistics about racial makeup as a contributing factor in skin cancer numbers?"

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2012-09-27 08:35

    E-mail from Jody:

    "Why don't we ban irresponsible people from having kids? It makes just as much sense as making laws to ban every possible scenario for people to be irresponsible."

  • parkerdereck img 2012-09-27 08:45

    In response to Manuel's email: Yes, in fact the study that this piece cites is a perfect example of the role of genetics in the development of skin cancer. When you break down the break down the different studies included in the metanalysis used to find the "75% increase" statistic, you'll find some interesting information. When you remove skin type 1s (fair skinned individuals who cannot tan and are not allowed to tan in professional salons) from the equation, there is actually no statistically significant increase. Here is a link to an analysis of the study:

    Another interesting note when looking at that 75% statistic is that, even if it were a valid, overarching finding, this number actually translates to an increased risk of 1 in 1000. Of course it will never be presented that way because it doesn't sound nearly as scary as a 75% increase. See this article for more.

    It's important for people to be more inquisitive, look further into the research and not accept things as they are presented. If you don't want to tan, or don't want your children to tan, that's fine, but please keep an open mind and consider both sides of the story. In my humble opinion, even if your risk of melanoma is raised .1% (as the cited research shows) the benefits from the vitamin D you get far outweigh the risks.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2012-09-27 08:46

    E-mail from Jody:

    "I can't believe your guest thinks poverty doesn't kill people."

  • Edward Dellinger img 2012-09-27 19:11

    Smart Talk
    From my experiences, not to take any thunder from your guest, it take more than one element to cause cancer of the skin. Sub, it has been my experience, alone will not cause cancer, lest you fry yourself. Had a case of melanoma from two things. one almost simultaneous use of tanning bed and the point of contact, a irritation at the same point from a chair, which the two changed the DNA. But common usge of the tanning bed did not cause any other part of the body to change DNA.
    Edward Dellinger