It is a common warning that tanning and being exposed to the sun causes skin cancer. Because of this, some people will not exose themselves to the sun at all. The truth is, there is more to it than “the sun causes skin cancer”. I hope you will take this article as a starting point in your own research.
First of all, there are different types of skin cancer and some are not related to the sun at all. Since cancer boils down to a mutation of skin cells, many people are born with it or born with a pre-disposition. So if skin cancer runs in your family, it is extremely important to learn what type of skin cancer they have and what you can do to prevent in yourself.
If you have skin cancer, then it means your skin cells have been damaged in some way and cancerous cells have grown. These cells can be caused by hereditary genetic. These cells can also be stimulated by the presence of free radicals in your body.
So here is a very basic summary of skin cancer caused by the sun. The sun emits different types of UV rays. These UV rays can cause free radicals in your body. These free radicals can damage your skin (ie wrinkles, pigmentation, cancer). As you can see, the sun is a somewhat indirect cause of skin cancer.
So, can you prevent cancer? Well, theoretically if you intervene at any one of the steps I just outlined you can prevent the growth of cancer cells. You could not go in the sun and therefore never be exposed to UV rays. You could go in the sun but block the UV rays from entering your skin (ie SPF, sunblock). Or you can attack the free radicals in your body.
So how do you attack free radicals? With anti-oxidants. Ant-oxidants attach themselves to the O2 molecules in your body so they cannot attach and damage the good cells. Anti-oxidants can be obtained through your diet.
Free radicals are formed in your body by eating unhealthy foods, pollution in the air, UV rays etc. They cause many problems and diseases, with many different types of cancer being one of them. Eating a diet rich in anti-oxidants may help your skin be beautiful and healthy, prevent diseases and cancers, and make you feel better.
This is clearly a very simple explanation of the indirect way that the sun ca cause skin cancer. However, I hope that you can do your own research and make an educated decision for yourself. I do believe that for some people it is possible to tan safely in a tanning bed and outdoors.