It's official: Indoor tanning linked to melanoma risk

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Washington, May 28 (ANI): Using indoor tanning devices certainly increases a person's risk of developing melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, say researchers at the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health and Masonic Cancer Center.

The study, involving 2,268 Minnesotans, is the largest of its kind.

The researchers found that people who use any type of tanning bed for any amount of time are 74 percent more likely to develop melanoma.

In addition, frequent users of indoor tanning beds are 2.5 to 3 times more likely to develop melanoma than those who never use tanning devices.

The study defines frequent uses as people who used indoor tanning for 50 plus hours, more than 100 sessions, or for 10-plus years. This increased risk applies similarly to all ages and genders.

Dr. DeAnn Lazovich led the research team on this study.

"We found that it didn't matter the type of tanning device used; there was no safe tanning device. We also found - and this is new data - that the risk of getting melanoma is associated more with how much a person tans and not the age at which a person starts using tanning devices. Risk rises with frequency of use, regardless of age, gender, or device," said Lazovich.

Before this study, indoor tanning has been only weakly associated with melanoma risk, said Lazovich.

"Most reports were not able to adjust for sun exposure, confirm a dose-response, or examine specific tanning devices. Our population-based, case-control study was conducted to address these limitations," she said.

The researchers assessed Minnesota cases of invasive cutaneous melanoma diagnosed between 2004 and 2007 at ages 25-59.

In the study, 1,167 people were diagnosed with melanoma and 1,101 people (control group) without melanoma.

Sixty two point nine percent of group with melanoma and 51.1 percent of control group had tanned indoors.

Melanoma risk was about 3 times greater among users of UVB-enhanced devices and 4.4 times greater for UVA-emitting devices.

Risk increased with use, defined as 10 or more years, 50 or more hours, or more than 100 sessions.

The study findings are published online in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. (ANI)

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