OHSU doc supports limits on teen tan bed use

Credit: KING5

Ashley Trenner is terminally ill from melanoma and joined OHSU cancer specialist Dr. Brian Druker in lobbying for restrictions on teen use of indoor tanning beds.

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by KGW Staff

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kgw.com

Posted on February 25, 2013 at 7:57 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 6:43 AM

SALEM -- The prominent doctor for a woman with terminal skin cancer testified before legislators Monday to pass a law keeping kids out of tanning beds.

Dr. Brian Druker, director of the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University, testified before the Oregon House Committee on Health Care.

More:

Melanoma patient's last wish includes warning about tanning beds

He said he supported a law restricting minors from using indoor tanning beds without a doctor's note.

"The simple fact is that any exposure to UV causes damage to DNA, and damage to DNA causes cancer. Those are facts and they're scientifically irrefutable," said Druker.

The tanning industry disputes his view on the dangers of beds. Salon owners and a lobbyist turned out in opposition of House Bill 2896.

"Dermatologists use sun beds to treat psoriasis. That is a carcinogen. If this were a level one issue, we would be banning that usage as well, but we're not," said Joseph Levy, executive director of the International Smart Tan Network, a salon association.

As the bill gets debated, time has run out for cancer patient Ashley Trenner. She was diagnosed with melanoma seven years ago. Her death is now imminent.

Trenner started going to tanning salons as a teen and kept up the regimen, thinking that bronzed skin made her look younger. She said she has one final message.

"I paid. I paid money to be in the position I am now," she said. "It wasn't just like I wanted to be tan. I was literally paying someone to get this terrible disease that's killing me. That is killing me. Terminal."

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