Use of sunlamps may double skin cancer risk

People who use sunlamps to achieve an all-year tan may double their risk of developing skin cancer, according to a new US study.

Researchers interviewed 603 patients with basal cell skin cancer and 293 with squamous cell skin cancer. They also talked to 540 controls who did not have either type of skin cancer. Melanoma patients were not included in the study.

Statistical analysis of the data showed that those who used tanning devices were 2.5 times more likely to get squamous cell skin cancer and 1.5 times more likely to get basal cell skin cancer.

The risk was greatest for those who first used the tanning devices before the age of 20 (J Natl Cancer Inst, 2002; 94: 224-6).

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Written by What Doctors Don't Tell You

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