Monthly Archives: July 2009

The Verdict Is In: Tanning Beds Cause Cancer

A new report released today by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is short, sweet and to the point: tanning devices are a Class I cause of cancer in humans.


The report, which was published in Lancet Oncology, reviews the cancer causing effects of various types of radiation, is bound to create more controversy regarding the use of tanning beds, especially in young women who are probably the most prolific users of these devices.


The reality is that the issue is no longer controversial.  Tanning beds cause cancer.  No tanning bed is safe, and there is no excuse or reason to use one.


As noted in the report, there are various types of solar—or sun related—radiation.  Many of us are familiar with UVB radiation from the sun, and that is the type that for years was the main target of the many sunscreens available in the marketplace.


More recently, increased attention has been paid to UVA radiation, but it wasn’t quite as clear that this type of sun related radiation caused cancer.  Now, as the evidence begins to accumulate, it is becoming clearer that UVA radiation also causes skin cancer.


The problem has … Continue reading →

The Cost and Value of Health Care

I have been thinking over the past several weeks about a topic that is very near and dear to the hearts of many of us, and that is the cost of health care.


Let me put a couple of my longstanding, personal guiding principles on the table for your consideration:


1)      We spend way too much on “health care” in this country, and don’t get value for what we spend. 


2)      I do believe that there is sufficient money within our current health care spending to provide better care to more people at lower cost.


I know I am not alone in those thoughts.  The problem is how we move from the reality of today into the vision of tomorrow, and improve the quality of the care we provide while we create a system where the costs of that care more reasonable and rational so we can extend more care to more people.


A couple of weeks ago I was in Washington DC and participated in a panel on health care reform for volunteers attending the annual meeting of the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance.  I showed a slide during … Continue reading →