A recent study investigates indoor tanning and squamous cell carcinoma risk.
A number of studies have that there is an association between SCC and exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) from the sun.
To date, only very few studies have investigated whether UVR from indoor tanning also increases the risk of SCC.
Most studies have focused on melanoma because, although it is less common than SCC, it causes a large of skin cancer deaths.
The few studies that have investigated SCC and indoor tanning have that this activity may increase the risk of SCC.
However, so far, scientists have not investigated whether indoor tanning increases SCC risk in a dose-dependent fashion. In other words, it is unclear whether using tanning beds more frequently and over longer periods increases the likelihood of developing SCC.
A recent study, the findings of which appear in , set out to answer this question.
Indoor tanning across the years
The scientists — from various universities and institutes in Norway, the United Kingdom, and Australia — took data from 159,419 women, all of whom were born between 1927–1963 and participated in the Norwegian Women and Cancer study, which ran from 1991–2015.
Alongside the participants' medical records, the researchers had access to a wealth of information, including smoking status, hair color, whether they developed freckles when they sunbathed, natural skin color, and annual number of sunburns.
In the first questionnaire, the researchers established the participants' current use of indoor tanning and asked them how often they had used indoor tanning during childhood and adolescence. They supplemented this information with two follow-up questionnaires across the 15 year study.