Tanning bed users ignore cancer risk

Myrtle Jones of Raleigh has been soaking up rays for almost 60 years and doesn't plan on stopping — not even in the face of a new report that moves tanning beds and ultraviolet radiation into the top category of cancer risk.

"I'm not really worried about cancer at my age," said Jones, 78, who regularly visits Planet Beach Tanning Spa on Edwards Mill Road. "If I were younger, I probably wouldn't continue to tan because I know it causes skin damage. I can see spots on my arm from overexposure."

Other Triangle residents plan to keep visiting the tanning bed regularly despite the new finding by international cancer experts that the risk of skin cancer jumps by 75 percent when people start using the devices before age 30.

Amber Hardison, 28, of Raleigh says she refuses to let doctors tell her how to live her life. She has been tanning for 12 years despite a physician's instruction to avoid the sun.

"I have burns from fire on my legs, and doctors told me to avoid the sun," said Hardison, who tans once a week at Planet Beach. "But it makes my scars look better."

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