More Evidence for Increased Skin Cancer Risk with Indoor Tanning

Exposure to ultraviolet radiation from indoor tanning devices is associated with significantly increased risk for non-melanoma skin cancer, according to a new meta-analysis in the British Medical Journal.

The analysis reviewed 12 studies with over 80,000 participants and 9300 cases of basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma, and combined the data, to look for trends.  Overall, individuals who had ever used an indoor tanning device were about 25% more likely to have basal cell disease and nearly 70% more likely to have squamous cell disease, compared to unexposed participants.  Risk for basal cell carcinoma was even higher among those with higher levels of exposure, as well as those exposed before age 25.The authors calculate that in the U.S., more than 170,000 cases of skin cancer each year can be attributed to indoor tanning.

Repeat after me:  “there’s no such thing as a healthy tan”.  Young people especially should stay out of the tanning salons.

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