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Indoor Tanning, Melanoma Definitively Linked

Posted: June 4, 2010

Researchers say a new study from the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health and Masonic Cancer Center definitively links the use of indoor tanning devices to increased risk of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer.

This research study involving 2,268 Minnesotans is the largest of its kind. It found:

The study defines frequent uses as people who used indoor tanning for 50 plus hours, more than 100 sessions, or for 10-plus years. This increased risk applies similarly to all ages and genders.

DeAnn Lazovich, PhD, led the research team on this study. Lazovich is an associate professor of epidemiology with the School of Public Health and co-leader of the Masonic Cancer Center's Prevention and Etiology Research Program. The study findings were published online on May 27 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

"We found that it didn't matter the type of tanning device used; there was no safe tanning device," Lazovich said. "We also found—and this is new data—that the risk of getting melanoma is associated more with how much a person tans and not the age at which a person starts using tanning devices. Risk rises with frequency of use, regardless of age, gender, or device."