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Association of Indoor Tanning and Skin Cancer in Canada

By: Hillary Ojeda
Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Indoor tanning devices contribute to a significant number of skin cancer cases in Canada, according to a study by Will D. King, PhD, of Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada, and colleagues. They suggest that health officials consider placing restrictions on the use of these devices. The study was published in Cancer Epidemiology.

“Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer and has become one of the most common cancers among young adults in Canada, particularly for females,” the scientists commented. Using Levin’s population attributable risk formula, the scientists determined which skin cancer cases were due to the use of an indoor tanning device. Data from the 2006 National Sun Survey provided the prevalence of indoor tanning and the Canadian Cancer Registry gave the investigators age- and sex-specific melanoma data for 2015. The 2015 Canadian Cancer Statistics report showed the non-melanoma skin cancer incidence data.

After conducting an analysis of the data, the investigators estimated that 7.0% of melanomas, 5.2% of basal cell carcinomas, and 7.5% of squamous cell carcinomas in Canada in 2015 were due to indoor tanning. Using the devices resulted in relative risks of 1.38 for melanoma, 1.39 for basal cell carcinoma, and 1.49 for squamous cell carcinoma.

“Given that indoor tanning is one of the risk factors for skin cancer that is most amenable to change through policies that limit or restrict use, strategies aimed at reducing use should be increased and a total ban or restrictions on use and [ultraviolet] intensity should be considered by health regulators,” the investigators concluded.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.



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