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Using Data for Indoor Tanning and Melanoma Risk Research

Minnesota Cancer Surveillance System

Melanoma incidence increased 2.2% and 2.1% annually between 1997 and 2006 in the United States among Caucasian males and females, respectively. Indoor tanning has been associated only weakly with melanoma risk in most previous studies; most reports were unable to adjust for sun exposure, confirm a dose-response, or examine specific tanning devices. This population-based case-control study was conducted to address those limitations and provide better evidence that indoor tanning increases the risk of developing malignant melanoma. With sound evidence, regulations can be developed to reduce the public's exposure to the risks of indoor tanning.

The study could not have been done without Minnesota Cancer Surveillance System data. Investigators found a strong association between indoor tanning and occurrence of melanoma. The strength of the observed association, the significant dose-response effect, and consistency over various subgroups adds substantial weight to the International Agency for Research on Cancer's determination that indoor tanning is a probable human carcinogen.

Action moves into the political arena now to develop primary prevention efforts in the face of a large indoor tanning industry.

Lazovich D, Vogel RI, Berwick M, Weinstock MA, Anderson KE, Warshaw EM. Indoor tanning and risk of melanoma: a case-control study in a highly exposed population. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention 2010;19(6):1557–1568.

 
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