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Study: Use Of Tanning Beds Tied To More Cancer Diagnoses Than Cigarettes

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File photo of a person using a tanning bed. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

File photo of a person using a tanning bed. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

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AUSTIN, Texas (CBS Houston) – A recent study suggests that tanning beds may be behind a greater number of cancer diagnoses than smoking cigarettes.

The study, a collaborative effort between a team of doctors and researchers based out of universities throughout the state of California, was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association – Dermatology.

It suggests that the frequency in skin-related cancers following the use of tanning beds is even greater than the amount of lung cancer cases caused by smoking.

“Overall, we estimate 419,039 cases of basal and squamous cell carcinoma (NMSC) and 10,888 cases of melanoma each year attributable to indoor tanning,” the study, published on the journal’s site, indicates.

The abstract summary continues, “To put this in perspective, approximately 362,941 cases of lung cancer are attributable to smoking each year in [the same] regions.”

Those involved in the study feel their findings indicate a need for the issue to be formally addressed.

They note in their conclusion, “It is time to open the debate about and pursue additional research into appropriate and effective policy and prevention strategies with the potential to significantly reduce skin cancer risks.”

Dr. Lisa Rhodes of Westlake Dermatology in Austin reinforced the fact to KEYE-TV that the use of the beds can result in dangerous skin cancers over time.

“If you’ve ever been in a tanning bed it increases your risks for melanoma by more than 75 percent,” she told the station, adding that neglect can worsen the situation. “If you develop melanoma and it’s not caught early enough it can metastasize and spread through the body and there are not good cures for metastatic melanoma, yet.”

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