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Page last updated 29/7/2014
My name is Mark Carter I am aged 56 and live in North Lincolnshire in the UK with my lovely wife Liz and 4 Cats, we have been happily married for 30 years. I am a stage 4 malignant melanoma survivor and currently have two tumours in my lungs which I am undergoing treatment for, if you want to read the full story of my melanoma journey, you can read it here
I have created this website to help raise awareness of the causes of melanoma and to provide information about sun safety, skin cancer and the dangers of sunbeds.
In a poll recently carried out by the British Skin Foundation, it was found that four in ten people did not think that skin cancer can be deadly and over half of people did not think the most deadly form of the disease, malignant melanoma can spread. These are alarming figures and is something that needs to be urgently addressed to help combat the skyrocketing skin cancer incidence rates that we have today. Nobody should have to suffer the horror of a melanoma diagnosis with a potentially fatal outcome through sheer ignorance.
There are familial and genetic causes of melanoma, but the vast majority of melanomas are caused by excessive and lifetime cumulative UV exposure. These cases are preventable if people educate themselves about the risk factors and make a few simple lifestyle changes to avoid over exposure to UV light from the sun and sunbeds. If you include a sun safety regimen into your daily lives and avoid sunbeds then your skin cancer risk will be massively reduced.
I have never deliberately gone out of my way to acquire a tan and have never used a commercial sunbed. I attribute my melanoma to excessive sun exposure in my youth when I served in the Merchant Navy in many tropical climates and I was ignorant of the dangers back then.
In case you are asking the question "Well he never used a sunbed why does he think they should be banned?" The answer to that is that I belong to a melanoma support group on facebook wih over 900 members. Many of them attribute their past history of sunbed use to their melanoma diagnosis and most of them are young ladies with children who face a lifetime of fear of their disease progessing. Melanoma is a brutal disease and sunbeds are a major risk factor, banning sunbeds would save many from a similar fate. Too many young people are swayed by the glamour culture that is so prevalent today and putting their lives at risk chasing that tan.
Every time you lay on a UV compliant sunbed (and many are not) you are exposing your body to emissions which can be comparable to the midday sun. The amount of UVA given off by a commercial sunbed can be 10-15 times higher than the midday sun and using a sunbed just once increases your melanoma risk by a whopping 60%.
Skin cancer is the fastest growing cancer in Great Britain. Since the mid 1970s, melanoma incidence rates have increased fivefold.
More than 11,600 cases of malignant melanoma, the deadliest form of the disease are diagnosed every year in the UK and over 2,000 will die from the disease this year alone.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has moved Ultra-Violet emitting tanning beds to it's highest cancer risk category and labeled them as carcinogenic to humans.
In the UK every packet of Cigarettes carries a "Smoking Kills" warning, yet sunbeds don't despite being a class one carcinogenic product in the same category as asbestos and tobacco. The tanning industry is still able to promote the myth that tanning is healthy when the link to skin cancer and melanoma from sunbed use is irrefutable now. Even the Sunbed Association, the UK Industry Trade Body who have a strict code of practice continue to deny the link between sunbeds and skin cancer despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
The video below was commissioned and paid for by myself. I wanted to show people the true consequences of what could happen if they continue to use sunbeds and the devastation that could occur not only to their lives, but to the lives of the loved ones around them.
Dying for a Tan
Cancer Research UK estimate that sunbeds cause about 440 malignant melanomas each year – more than one a day – and just under one hundred deaths A ban on commercial sunbeds would save many lives from this horrible disease and would help curb the alarming rise in Melanoma incidence rates. Skin cancer drugs are very expensive and a ban would also help save the NHS from the huge cost burden of skin cancer treatments. The treatment I am currently on costs a massive £70,000.
Even tighter regulations on sunbed use. although a step in the right direction will not stop them from remaining lethal and will do little to stop them causing unnecessary deaths. These facts alone should be enough to have sunbeds banned. A tan is simply not worth dying for.
Brazil has already banned Sunbeds, and Australia has recently committed to a National ban. Every state has now either banned or is planning to outlaw commercial sunbeds due to the country having some of the highest skin cancer rates in the world . But more people actually die from melanoma per year in the UK than Australia
Any help you can offer me, either by signing the online petition calling for a sunbed ban or joining with me in my fight to raise awareness, would be much appreciated. You can contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you for visiting my site!
A friend of mine is now suffering the consequences of his past sunbed use and like me wants to raise awareness and stop others avoiding the same fate as him. He has agreed to let me share the picture below. People need to realise that skin cancer is not just something you can cut out and it is gone. If you get Squamous Cell or Basal Cell Carcinoma then yes it can be cut out and you may be scarred but you will be cured. If you get melanoma it can spread through your lymph and blood system to all your major organs and ultimately kill you, as there is still no known cure. Melanoma is like the Mafia, once you are in there is no getting out. It can come back weeks, months or years later. If you still want to look tanned then why not get it out of a bottle and avoid the risk of a devastating melanoma diagnosis.
Keep your skin beautiful and say no to sunbeds
Doctor Christian from Channel 4's Embarrasing Bodies talks about the importance of checking your moles.
A tan is not worth dying for.
9 in 10 Sunbeds emitting UV radiation over British and EU limit
The average skin cancer risk from sunbeds is more than double that of spending the same length of time in the Mediterranean midday summer sun.
Sign a petition to stop the Government charging 20% VAT on Sunscreen
Every year more than 100,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with skin cancer and over 2,500 lose their lives as a result. Under current UK tax law, Brits pay a 20% tax charge on sunscreen as it's deemed a ‘luxury’ item rather than an essential health product. Please help to stop this outrageous practice by signing a petition to make Sunscreen Vat exempt
The legal stuff
This site is authored by me (Mark Carter) who is the sole owner, webmaster and principal editor. Please note that I am not a medical professional but use named sources and direct hyperlinks to provide the medical information on this site.
The medical information provided on this site is meant to complement and not replace any advice or information from a health professional.
This site will respect the legal requirements, including those concerning medical and personal information and privacy, that applies in the United Kingdom.
The personal information collected from the visitors of our website, including their identity, remains confidential. We respect the law on confidentiality applicable to this website in the UK and we will never pass on these data to any third party, unless required by law. This website does not collect any cookies.
Currently this site uses Google Analytics to analyze the audience of the website and improve its content. No personal information is collected from Google Analytics.
This site is funded solely by me and has a strict no advertisement policy.
Contact Details email :- email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org