How to Eliminate 170,652 Cases of Skin Cancer A Year

Skin cancer from indoor tanning beds is a real problem

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Robert Carlson, M.D

(RxWiki News) Recent outlawing of minors using tanning beds was based on real medical evidence. People under the age of 25 are especially at risk for developing skin cancer from tanning beds.

With so many new cases of non-melanoma skin cancer in the U.S. every year from tanning beds alone—the dangers can no longer be ignored.

A recent study looked at skin cancer in people who used indoor tanning beds over the last several decades and found that 12 percent of non-melanoma cancers were from tanning beds.

"Don’t use tanning beds."

Eleni Linos, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at the University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine, led a study into skin cancer linked to tanning beds.

Researchers were looking for associations between indoor tanning beds and basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, both non-melanoma type skin cancers.

This study analyzed the results of 12 studies involving a total of 9,328 cases of non-melanoma skin cancer.

Researchers found that in the U.S. alone, 8 percent of squamous cell carcinoma and 4 percent of basal cell carcinoma were attributed to the use of tanning beds. That equals 170,652 cases of skin cancer a year linked to indoor tanning.

Three of the 12 studies reviewed showed that indoor tanning before the age of 25 increased the risk of basal cell carcinoma by 29 percent and squamous cell carcinoma by 67 percent.

Authors suggested, “We hope that these findings can support public health campaigns and motivate increased regulation to reduce exposure to this carcinogen, especially during early life.”

This study was published in October in the British Medical Journal.

Funding for this study was provided by the National Center for Research Resources and the National Institutes of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease, both of the National Institutes of Health.

No conflicts of interest were reported.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
October 3, 2012
Last Updated:
October 5, 2012