Solariums double skin cancer risk in young people

Aug 03, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Scientists have confirmed what has long been feared - young people who use solariums have almost double the risk of being diagnosed with skin cancer before the age of 40.

The study, published in the latest edition of the , was performed by a team of Australian researchers led by Dr Anne Cust of the School of Population Health at the University of Melbourne. It is the first study to look at age differences in the risk of skin cancer associated with solariums.

“Our findings indicate that solarium use causes around three quarters of melanomas occurring in people 18-29 years of age who have used a solarium, and the risk of being diagnosed with skin cancer doubles if first exposure to solariums happens before the age of 20,” Dr Cust says.

“We estimate that a large proportion - over 16 per cent - of melanoma cases in young people could be prevented in Australia by avoiding solarium exposure.”

While these figures are alarming for Australians, Dr Cust stresses that the overall picture is likely to be even worse elsewhere in the world.

“Since Australia is reported to have the lowest frequency of solarium use of developed countries, the proportion of all cases of early-onset melanoma attributable to solarium use is almost certainly higher in other developed countries.”

Dr Cust says the team was driven to look at solarium use and melanoma risk in people under the age of 40 as age differences in risk had never been investigated, and because younger people are more likely to use solariums.

“There is mounting evidence that use of solariums is associated with an increased risk of melanoma but the susceptibility of young people to exposure of harmful UV raditation was unknown,” she says.

As well as revealing that earlier age at first use of solariums is associated with greater risk of melanoma, the study also revealed risk increased with cumulative use of solariums.

The researchers interviewed more than 600 people between the ages of 18 and 39 that had been diagnosed with , focusing on the regularity of their use of solariums.

“It is of public health importance to determine the risks of associated with solarium use in young people, as unfortunately the use of solariums is increasingly prevalent in developed countries,” says Dr Cust.

Explore further: Researchers develop web-based app to predict glioma mutations

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Germany bans solariums for under-18s

Jun 19, 2009

The German lower house of parliament on Friday passed a law banning under-18s from going to solariums because of the risks of developing skin cancer.

New study definitively links indoor tanning to melanoma

May 27, 2010

New research from the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health and Masonic Cancer Center definitively links the use of indoor tanning devices to increased risk of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer.

Recommended for you

Understanding your kidney tumor in 3D

24 minutes ago

Most patients rely on their doctors to decipher the black, white and gray images on their CT scans. But what if a patient could instead hold a 3D model made from the CT image in his hands? Suddenly, the picture ...

Biomarker in aggressive breast cancer identified

14 hours ago

Two Northwestern University scientists have identified a biomarker strongly associated with basal-like breast cancer, a highly aggressive carcinoma that is resistant to many types of chemotherapy. The biomarker, ...

MRI better detects recurrent breast cancer

15 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Single-screening breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) detects 18.1 additional cancers after negative findings with mammography and ultrasonography (US) per 1,000 women with a history of breast ...

Natural (born) killer cells battle pediatric leukemia

Aug 19, 2014

Researchers at Children's Hospital Los Angeles have shown that a select team of immune-system cells from patients with leukemia can be multiplied in the lab, creating an army of natural killer cells that ...

User comments : 0