Skin cancer on the rise

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POSTED: Friday, August 1, 2014 - 8:00am

UPDATED: Friday, August 1, 2014 - 8:09am

Surgeon General issues call to action in face of rising skin cancer rates. Erika Edwards reports.

(NBC News) Acting Surgeon General Boris Lushniak has issued a "call to action" to prevent skin cancer.

63,000 people are diagnosed with melanoma each year, and of those 9,000 die. Experts say UV radiation from sunlight or tanning beds is the biggest cause.

Doctors say consumers need to be vigilant about using a broad spectrum sunscreen and reapply it every few hours.

Lushniak also supports legislation banning teenagers from visiting tanning salons.

"There're ten states out there now who have put in legislation that bans the use of indoor tanning facilities for those under the age of 18. We certainly support those measures to be able to protect the youth from a known carcinogen," he says.

The Indoor Tanning Association disputes what many experts say, stating: "There is no consensus among researchers regarding the relationship between melanoma skin cancer and UV exposure either from the sun or a sunbed."

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