More Evidence Links Tanning Beds to Higher Skin Cancer
MONDAY, Oct. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Roughly 10 percent of
Americans continue to use indoor tanning beds, but new research
suggests that doing so increases their risk for three common skin
cancers, including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma
In conducting the study, researchers tracked the tanning bed use
of more than 73,000 nurses -- first during high school and college,
and then when the women were between 25 and 35 years of age.
The study found that tanning beds increased skin cancer risk
over time, with a "dose-response effect." That means the more
visits to the tanning salon, the higher the woman's risk for skin
Compared with women who didn't use tanning beds, the risk for
basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma jumped 15 percent
for every four visits to an indoor tanning bed each year. The risk
for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, also increased by
Exposure in youth seemed most hazardous. "Use during high
school/college had a stronger effect on the increased risk for
basal cell carcinoma compared with use during ages 25 to 35," noted
study author Dr. Mingfeng Zhang, a research fellow in the
department of dermatology at Brigham and Women's Hospital and
Harvard Medical School in Boston in a news release.
Numerous studies conducted over the past few years have shown
strong associations between tanning bed use and skin cancer. In
March of 2010, a advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration recommended a ban on indoor tanning by minors, and
last February the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a statement
supporting such a ban.
The study authors agreed that the findings have public health
implications for prevention of all three types of skin cancer.
"[They] can be used to warn the public against future use of tanning beds and to promote restrictions on the indoor tanning industry by policymakers," said Zhang.
The researchers said they plan to investigate the link between
skin cancer and tanning bed use over a longer timeframe.
The study was slated for presentation on Monday at the
International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention
Research, sponsored by the American Association for Cancer
Research. Findings presented at medical meetings have not undergone
peer review and are usually considered preliminary.
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