UMMS skin cancer expert says a new study proves tanning beds cause cancer

Mary Maloney to MedPage Today: ‘This study definitively links sun tanning in salons with the development of melanoma’

By Sandra Gray

UMass Medical School Communications

January 28, 2016

In an interview with MedPage Today, UMass Medical School skin cancer expert Mary Maloney, MD, hailed a new study which found that almost 100 percent of women with a melanoma diagnosis before age 30 had used indoor tanning facilities

“This study definitively links tanning in salons with the development of melanoma,” said Dr. Maloney, professor of medicine at UMMS and director of dermatologic surgery at UMass Memorial Medical Center, in the Jan. 27 story. A national advocate for legislation restricting tanning bed use among youth, Maloney formerly served as chair of the regulatory policy committee for the American Academy of Dermatology and has been an outspoken critic of tanning bed use, especially by teenagers and young adults.

Published in JAMA Dermatology Jan. 27, the large retrospective case-control study “Association Between Indoor Tanning and Melanoma in Younger Men and Women” found strong evidence that indoor tanning has led to the recent increases in melanoma incidence among young women: 61 out of the 63 youngest women with melanoma diagnoses had a history of indoor tanning. Younger women also reported earlier and more frequent use of indoor tanning facilities than individuals who were diagnosed with melanoma at older ages.

The study gives further fuel to efforts to restrict access to and use of indoor tanning facilities through legislation and industry regulations, like the bill just signed off on by Massachusetts lawmakers that will ban minors under the age of 18 from using or operating tanning booths.

“I just don't think you can argue with the epidemiologic results here, showing that women with more sessions of tanning and earlier tanning have a significant increase in melanoma over those people who didn't engage in that behavior or started later," Maloney said.

Read the full MedPage Today story here

Related links on UMassMedNow:
Maloney, Pagoto weigh in on new tanning bed regs in New York Times
New numbers show tanning bed popularity among the young
UMMS professor a national voice on skin cancer
UMMS expert supports warnings for tanning beds

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