It always peaks my interest when I hear that Oregon is tops in the nation at something -- per capita micro-breweries, college football, etc -- but, I was dismayed to hear that such a health conscious state could lead the nation in melanoma death rates for women. Overall, the state has the 4th highest melanoma death rate in the nation.
This seems like such an unbelievable fact considering that most people think that melanoma comes from serious and long term sun exposure, which seems like and impossible task in Portland during the winter "gray season." It's hard to escape the typical blah feeling, especially for women, during the long winter months, but draw to the tanning beds is way more destructive than you think. That's why Dr. Brian Druker of the Knight Cancer Institute at OHSU recently testified on behalf of an Oregon house bill that would restrict children under the age of 18 from using indoor tanning devices. As he said in Salem, the evidence is clear: tanning booths, like cigarettes, cause cancer and should be off limits to minors. For more on why he believes this is so important--and why this bill is so necessary-- if you want to visit The OHSU Effect blog to learn more. This is an issue that affects far too many women, and the solution is simple.