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Study Finds Increased Cancer Risk From Regular Sunbed Use

September 1, 2014
Public Health

A new study due to be presented at the World Congress on Cancers of the Skin in Edinburgh has found that regular sunbed use can increase the chances of Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) by up to 90%.

Researchers at the University of Dundee and Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands looked at Ultraviolet (UV) radiation levels from the average number and length of tanning sessions, adding cumulative UV exposure from the sun to calculate SCC levels amongst sunbed users.

The results showed that by age 55 people who regularly used a sunbed were 1.9 times more likely to develop SCC than those who did not. A previous study by the same team in January 2013 showed that nine out of ten sunbeds tested in a 400 bed survey emitted UV levels above European safety limits.

Professor Harry Moseley of the University of Dundee, said: “There is considerable variation in the output of artificial tanning units which people should be aware of. The results of our study indicate that the additional UV dose from sunbed use compared to normal day-to-day sun exposure potentially adds a significantly increased risk for development of SCC.” 

There are 23,000 new cases of SCC each year in the UK with an average 500 deaths making it the second most common type of skin cancer behind Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC). Whilst much is focused on the most serious form of the condition melanoma it is only responsible for 1% of cases annually.

You can view the World Congress on Cancers of the Skin website here.