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Young indoor tanning increases early risk of skin cancer

Date:
June 23, 2014
Source:
Norris Cotton Cancer CenterDartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
Summary:
Early exposure to the ultraviolet radiation lamps used for indoor tanning is related to an increased risk of developing basal cell carcinomas (BCC) at a young age, researchers confirm. Since indoor tanning has become increasingly popular among adolescents and young adults, this research calls attention to the importance of counseling young people about the risk of indoor tanning. The study notes that indoor tanning products can produce 10 to 15 times as much UV radiation as the midday sun.

Dartmouth researchers have found that early exposure to the ultraviolet radiation lamps used for indoor tanning is related to an increased risk of developing basal cell carcinomas (BCC) at a young age. Their findings are reported in "Early-Onset Basal Cell Carcinoma and Indoor Tanning: A Population-Based Study," a study that will be published in the July 2014 issue of Pediatrics. Since indoor tanning has become increasingly popular among adolescents and young adults, this research calls attention to the importance of counseling young people about the risk of indoor tanning.

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"Our findings suggest that teens and young adults who seek indoor tanning may be especially vulnerable to developing BCC, the most common form of skin cancer, at a young age," said lead author Professor Margaret Karagas, co-director of the Cancer Epidemiology and Chemopreventon Research Program at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center and Director of the Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Center at Dartmouth. "But a recent survey in New Hampshire, where our study was conducted, found that 74 percent of high schools have at least one tanning salon within 2 miles, and an additional 22 percent have easy access to a tanning salon. We need to help young people understand these risks."

The researchers collected data on 657 participants in the New Hampshire Skin Cancer Study (all under 50) who had newly diagnosed cases of BCC and 452 controls. The data they collected included the type of indoor tanning device used (sunlamps, tanning beds, or booths), and skin sensitivity to the sun and proportion of time spent outdoors in childhood.

A higher proportion of patients with early-onset BCC reported indoor tanning with a tanning lamp compared to controls, and this association was present for all types of indoor tanning devices.

The researchers also found that participants with early-onset BCC were more likely to burn rather than tan during the first hour of sun exposure in summer as compared to controls. In about 40 percent of cases BCCs were located on the torso (and sites other than the head and neck) and the association with indoor tanning was stronger for tumors occurring in these places.

The study notes that indoor tanning products can produce 10 to 15 times as much UV radiation as the midday sun, and supports the recommendation of medical groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, to minimize ultraviolet exposure, including from indoor tanning.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Norris Cotton Cancer CenterDartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Margaret R. Karagas et al. Early-Onset Basal Cell Carcinoma and Indoor Tanning: A Population-Based Study. Pediatrics, June 2014 DOI: 10.1542/peds.2013-3559

Cite This Page:

Norris Cotton Cancer CenterDartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. "Young indoor tanning increases early risk of skin cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140623141836.htm>.
Norris Cotton Cancer CenterDartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. (2014, June 23). Young indoor tanning increases early risk of skin cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140623141836.htm
Norris Cotton Cancer CenterDartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. "Young indoor tanning increases early risk of skin cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140623141836.htm (accessed March 26, 2015).

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