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Tanning Beds Can Greatly Boost Melanoma Risk
Date:5/27/2010

Odds for deadly skin cancer rise more than fourfold with some devices, research shows

THURSDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- People who use tanning beds to keep that year-round glow are dramatically increasing their risk for developing melanoma, the deadliest of skin cancers, a new study finds.

In fact, the more you tan and the longer you tan, the more the risk increases, researchers noted.

"We found the risk of melanoma was 74 percent higher in persons who tanned indoors than in persons who had not," said lead researcher DeAnn Lazovich, an associate professor at the division of epidemiology and community health at the University of Minnesota.

"We also found that people who tanned indoors a lot were 2.5 to 3 times more likely to develop melanoma than people who had never tanned indoors," she added. In the context of the study, "a lot" of indoor tanning meant a total of at least 50 hours of tanning bed exposure, or more than 100 sessions, or at least 10 years of regular tanning bed use.

The report is published in the May 27 issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

For the study, Lazovich's team collected data on melanoma cases in Minnesota from 2004 through 2007. The researchers also conducted interviews and had patients complete questionnaires about indoor tanning, including the devices used, when the person began tanning and for how long.

The researchers found that among 1,167 people with melanoma, almost two-thirds (63 percent) had used tanning beds. Among those who used tanning beds, the risk for developing melanoma rose 74 percent, Lazovich's group found.

The risk for melanoma was significant whether the tanning beds used both UVA and UVB rays or UVA rays only. For beds using UVA rays, the risk of melanoma was increased 4.4-fold.

"What is remarkable about our results are that they are very consistent," Lazovich said. "We found these relat
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