Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention
David J. Hunter3,
Abrar A. Qureshi4, and
1Dermatology, Brigham and Women's Hospital
2Dermatology, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School
3Program in Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health
4Medicine, Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School
Jiali Han, Medicine, Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 181 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA, 02115, United States nhhan at channing.harvard.edu
Background: Increased risk of skin cancer by indoor tanning has drawn public attention. However, there are arguments that tanning bed use increases vitamin D production, which may therefore prevent internal cancers.
Methods: We follow 73,358 female nurses for 20 years (1989-2009) in the Nurses' Health Study II and investigated the frequency of tanning bed use during high school/college and at ages 25-35 in relation to the incidence of total cancers (excluding skin cancers). We used multivariate Cox proportional hazards models to estimate the hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of total cancers and each individual major cancer with more than 100 cases.
Results: During follow-up, a total of 4,271 internal cancer cases were diagnosed. No association was found between tanning bed use and risk of total cancers (multivariable-adjusted HR, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.95-1.04 for every 4 times/year use on average during high school/college and at ages 25-35). In addition, no association was found for the risk of any individual major cancers, such as breast cancer, thyroid cancer, colorectal cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, or endometrial cancer.
Conclusions: Our data do not suggest any association between the use of tanning beds and risk of internal cancers. Impact: Based on the strong evidence of increase in skin cancer risk and no evidence of reduction in internal cancer risk by tanning bed use, it is important to warn the public against indoor tanning.
Copyright © 2013, American Association for Cancer Research.
- Tanning beds UVB vary by 4X
- Indoor tanning not apparently associated with skin cancer – Feb 2012
- Probably need more than 1000 IU of vitamin D to prevent cancer – meta-analysis Aug 2013
- Solar UVB reduces Cancer Risk – Grant, Jan 2013
- Getting little UV is associated with 15 types of Cancer – Jan 2012
It appears that occasional use of tanning beds neither increases rate of skin cancer nor reduces rate of internal cancers