Even indoor tanning raises melanoma risk

New York: Do you use indoor tanning believing that this is safe? Beware as this may increase the chances of your developing melanoma, an alarming study says.

The indoor tanning raises the risk of developing melanoma even if a person has never had burns from either indoor or outdoor tanning.

To test the hypothesis that indoor tanning without burns prevents sunburn and subsequent skin cancer, researchers at University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, used data from a case-control study on indoor tanning and the risk of melanoma.

The researchers had detailed information on indoor tanning and sun exposure for the study participants and excluded those who experienced a burn while tanning indoors.

A total of 1,167 melanoma patients were matched to 1,101 control subjects by sex and age.

The study found that melanoma patients reporting zero lifetime burns were nearly four times more likely to be indoor tanners than control subjects.

In addition, melanoma patients with zero sunburns reported having started tanning indoors at younger ages and used indoor tanning over more years than other patients who had experienced sunburn, suggesting that greater total exposure contributed to the findings.

“Indoor tanning, even when used in a way that does not produce burns, is a risk factor for melanoma,” the researchers concluded.

The study is published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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