Are you risking cancer every time you get your nails done? The ultraviolet drying lamps used by nail salons are the heated subject of a long-running cancer debate that may finally have been put to rest.
Dangers of UV Light
At the heart of the controversy is the UVA light emitted by nail drying lamps. Ultraviolet light from the sun is composed of two kinds of light. UVB light generally affects the surface of the skin, causing sunburn; but it also suppresses the immune system which can leave sun worshippers more vulnerable to skin cancer. Considered more dangerous and a potent carcinogen is UVA light which penetrates more deeply into the skin, aging skin cells and damaging their DNA. The result is premature aging, the development of wrinkles and increased risk of skin cancer.
The proven link between prolonged exposure to UVA rays and increased risk of skin cancer and melanoma is behind the Food and Drug Administration’s recent campaign to warn consumers, particularly teens and young adults, about the potential dangers of using tanning beds and sunlamps.
Are Nail Salons a Cancer Risk?
While nail salon drying lamps do emit the UVA light associated with skin cancer, a definitive new study found little skin cancer risk from the brief exposure experienced during the average nail salon visit. However, researchers do recommend reducing risk by treating hands with sunscreen before going under the drying lamp. To further protect consumers, researchers also recommend federal standardization of salon drying lamp UVA output.
Our advice: Next time you visit the nail salon take along a tube of sunscreen to apply before sticking you hands under the drying light!
“We’re asking surgeons to buy a device that takes away profit margins and their next case but makes life and recovery easier for the patient. Why, in Israel and Europe, where no one is rewarded monetarily for second surgeries, do they embrace this tool?”
That’s the telling question Newport Beach, California cancer surgeon Dr. Alice Police asked the Orange County Register while discussing the reluctance of U.S. hospitals and cancer surgeons to use a game-changing new breast cancer surgery tool that dramatically reduces the need for repeat surgeries.
Using the new MarginProbe System, surgeons can test removed tissue in the operating room to determine whether all cancer cells have been excised and, if necessary, remove additional tissue during a single surgery, negating the need for subsequent surgeries. While the cost of using the device is high, FDA approval means costs are covered by Medicare and most major health insurers. So why have only 4 U.S. hospitals purchased the MarginProbe System in the 8 months since FDA approval?
Dr. Michael J. Stamos of the University of California-Irvine Medical Center said UCI purchased the device “to improve patient care.” While admitting that the hospital loses money when repeat surgeries are not needed, he told the Register, “You have to look beyond the current economics and more at favorable outcomes.”
Concern that profit margins may be affecting hospitals’ and surgeons’ reluctance to adopt this new cancer treatment tool calls into question broader treatment recommendations made by practitioners of traditional Western medicine. Do profit margins play a role in their failure to offer cancer patients effective alternative cancer treatments from which they will not profit?