Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/07/06/sun_bed_death/

Skin cancer claims sun bed 'addict'

Tragic end for 29-year-old mum

By Lester Haines

Posted in Science, 6th July 2007 08:31 GMT

A 29-year-old Salford mother of two has died of skin cancer thought to have been caused by excessive sun bed use, the Manchester Evening News reports.

Zita Farrelly's two-sessions-per-day "addiction" started at 14. She kicked the habit at 21, but by then it was "too late". Last August, she discovered a mole which turned out to be melanoma. Nine months later, and just three days after daughter Phebie's first birthday, she died.

Doctors told the victim's family they believed "it [the cancer] was caused by using sun beds". Her partner Phil Burtwistle said sun beds had "destroyed the family's life". He told the Manchester Evening News: "Zita told me days before she died that she wished she could make a documentary about the dangers of using them. She said if only one person was saved by seeing what had happened to her she'd be happy. People need to know that they can be that dangerous."

Burtwistle explained that Farrelly was determined to see her daughter's birthday and had "battled on and managed to keep herself awake to see that". He continued: "But not long after she fell asleep and never woke up again."

Farrelly's aunt Tina "appealed for others to learn from her niece's death", warning: "Time after time I see young girls coming out of tanning salons burned and looking like lobsters. I feel like grabbing them and telling them about what can happen. If they could see the pain that Zita had to go through I'm sure it would make them stop using them." ®