Health Buzz: Tanning Beds Blamed for Cancer and Other Health News

If women sell their eggs, why not a kidney? Also: the huge toll obesity takes on kids.

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Experts Say Tanning Beds Cause Cancer

Tanning beds increase your odds of getting cancer, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) announced in the new issue of the Lancet Oncology. Until now, the committee of experts who advise the World Health Organization had not confirmed a link between tanning beds, sunlamps, and cancer. The group made the decision after reviewing studies that showed teens and young adults who used tanning beds increased their risk of developing melanoma by 75 percent.

Learn more about tanning beds, Vitamin D, and your cancer risk. And check out 8 ways to spot skin cancer before it kills.

Women Sell Their Eggs, so Why Not a Kidney?

A few weeks ago, New York became the first state in the nation to allow federally funded researchers to pay women for their eggs for embryonic stem cell research. While men typically donate their sperm free of charge, women expect to get paid for their eggs because of the hassle and risk that comes with injecting themselves with hormones to ripen multiple eggs at once and then have those eggs surgically extracted. Few donors would go through that if there were no financial incentives, U.S. News's Deborah Kotz writes. While it's not illegal for women in the United States to get payments for egg donations (it is in Europe), the American Society for Reproductive Medicine has established ethical guidelines for egg donor compensation—a cap of $10,000 per cycle—which most fertility clinics follow.

Kotz tackles the question: If it is OK to sell eggs, why can't willing donors charge reasonable rates for their organs? Donating a kidney is a riskier procedure than egg donation because it involves more-invasive surgery and the long-term risk of having a malfunction in the remaining kidney. One expert says if there were a nonexploitative way of selling organs, he'd like to see it tried within the framework of a research study. Read more.

Read about a procedure that lets you donate a kidney without getting a scar. And find out where to go if you're searching for an egg donor.

Obesity Takes Huge Toll on Kids

Findings published online earlier this month by Health Affairs revealed that costs associated with obesity-related hospitalizations in children rose from $125.9 million in 2001 to $237.6 million in 2005 (in 2005 dollars), U.S. News's Sarah Baldauf reports. Obese kids face greater odds of severe health problems in the future—type 2 diabetes and heart disease, in particular, Baldauf writes. But they are also dealing with a host of pretty serious issues in the present. Young bodies exposed to the hormones and metabolic burden of excess weight can suffer from conditions that take a significant toll on youngsters' quality of life.

The biggies that can land an obese kid in the hospital are orthopedic conditions because of compromised bones; asthma, which is associated with and can be intensified by obesity; and diabetes-related problems like infections, according to one expert. Baldauf explains five additional ways obesity can affect a child's health.

Consider 5 ways to prevent diabetes in your teenage child. Here's how to help your child lose weight.

Megan Johnson

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