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4 uses of tanning beds per year did not reduce rate of internal cancers – Oct 2013

Tanning bed use is not associated with internal cancer risk: Evidence from a large cohort study

Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention
Mingfeng Zhang1,
Fengju Song2,
David J. Hunter3,
Abrar A. Qureshi4, and
Jiali Han4,*
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.

See also VitaminDWiki

It appears that occasional use of tanning beds neither increases rate of skin cancer nor reduces rate of internal cancers