Using tanning beds regularly can increase a person’s chances of developing melanoma, which is the deadliest form of skin cancer. The risk factor can be increased three to possibly even four times, compared to people who have never used a tanning bed. A new research study examined whether or not indoor tanning could cause skin cancer, and it was determined that indoor tanning bed users increased their risk by 74%.
The study showed people who used the tanning beds more than 50 hours had a tripled their chances at developing melanoma and the risk was even higher for those that used high pressure tanning beds. High pressure beds emit UVA radiation mostly and therefore the increase jumped up to even 4 times the risk factor for developing melanoma skin cancer.
The study was conducted by the University of Minnesota and has said that the research shows that there is no indoor tanning device that is safe.
Melanoma is the fastest growing cancer among Caucasians. Between the years of 1997 and 2006 indoor tanning was all the rage, however it has continued to grow in popularity and now its estimated that over 30 million people use commercial tanning equipment every year.
The biggest challenge however for any research study seems to be that many people not only tan indoors using commercial equipment but outdoors under the sun as well and that allows the tanning equipment manufacturers to claim they are not to blame. Previous studies on tanning equipment also could not distinguish between the different types of tanning beds. High speed and high pressure beds are both harmful but high speed machines emit mostly UVB rays while high pressure the most dangerous kind emit mostly UVA radiation.
The new study used approximately 1,200 melanoma patients in a control group and using telephone interviews and questionnaires determined that about 63% had used commercial tanning devices at least once. The other major conclusions of the study were the melanoma risk increased by the person’s exposure in time such as number of sessions, in hours and years.
The increase was seen in both types of tanning beds, which suggested no indoor tanning devices are safe.
Burns were commonly reported by people using tanning beds
The researchers also found the strongest data concluded many patients mostly women had melanomas originating from the trunk which is an area of the body that is commonly exposed in tanning beds.
The research also showed the melanomas were not linked to having tanned at an early age but the increase in risk was due amount of exposure at any age.
The research data of the study appears in the June issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
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