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More evidence on the link between indoor tanning and cancers

More evidence on the link between indoor tanning and cancers

As the short, dark days of winter approach, some may be tempted to turn to tanning beds to quench their sunshine cravings. But before you slip into your bathing suit, don a pair of goggles and step into the tanning bed, you may want to consider the growing body of scientific evidence showing that indoor tanning greatly increases your skin cancer risk.

Past research has shown that indoor tanners had a 74 percent increased risk for melanoma. Additionally, a study published last year found young adults who used indoor tanning had a 69 percent higher risk of developing a type of basal cell carcinoma. Now findings published in the British Medical Journal offer additional evidence that regular use of tanning bed can increase the risk of basal cell and squamous cell cancers.

First author Mackenzie Wehner, a Stanford medical student, and colleagues performed the meta-analysis of 12 studies examining the association of indoor tanning with non-melanoma skin cancer, which included 7,645 basal cell carcinomas and 1,683 squamous cell carcinomas. As Health Day reports:

The use of tanning beds was associated with a 67 percent increased risk of squamous cell carcinoma and a 29 percent higher risk of basal cell carcinoma, compared with never using a tanning bed, the researchers found.

[Researchers] estimated that indoor tanning in the United States accounts for about 3.7 percent of cases of basal cell carcinoma (more than 98,000 cases) and 8.2 percent of cases of squamous cell carcinoma (about 72,000 cases) each year.

Moreover, using tanning beds before age 25 appears to significantly increase the risk for basal cell carcinoma, the researchers noted.

Previously: Study shows link between indoor tanning and common skin cancerState Senator Ted Lieu weighs in on tanning-bed legislationNew law: No more tanning beds for California teens and A push to keep minors away from tanning beds
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