LAS VEGAS (CBS Las Vegas) — New research suggests that there is a link between the use of indoor tanning beds and an estimated 170,000 documented cases of skin cancer annually.

The study, conducted at the University of California San Francisco, compared data on indoor tanning habits and cases of non-melanoma skin cancer. What researchers found was that exposure to tanning indoors, especially before age 25, increased a person’s risk of getting basal cell carcinoma.

Dr. Eleni Linos, who, according to CBS News, is an assistant professor in the dermatology department at USCSF and the study’s senior author, concluded that their findings solidify the dangerous nature of indoor tanning.

“Indoor tanning is associated with a significantly increased risk of both basal and squamous cell skin cancer,” the study’s conclusion, written by Linos and a team of researchers, stated. “These findings contribute to the growing body of evidence on the harms of indoor tanning and support public health campaigns and regulation to reduce exposure to this carcinogen.”

Researchers set out to “synthesize the literature on indoor tanning and non-melanoma skin cancer” by extracting data that compared those who had ever used indoor tanning to those who had never done so.

In all, a reported 12 studies were evaluated in their research, which gave the team a total of 9,328 cases of non-melanoma skin cancer to examine. Once evaluated, Linos and her team were able to draw several conclusions regarding the relationship between indoor tanning and instances of skin cancer.

“The population attributable risk fraction for the United States was estimated to be 8.2 [percent] for squamous cell carcinoma and 3.7 [percent] for basal cell carcinoma,” their analysis found. “This corresponds to more than 170 000 cases of non-melanoma skin cancer each year attributable to indoor tanning.”

The study was published in the journal BMJ, or British Medical Journal, on Oct. 2.


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