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Exposure to tanning beds ups risk of second primary melanomas

23 Nov 2018

Increased surveillance is recommended in melanoma patients exposed to artificial ultraviolet radiation (arUVR) from tanning beds, according to a study.

Lifetime exposure to arUVR was greater among younger, especially female, patients compared with those aged ≥40 years. Patients with multiple primary melanomas had a higher likelihood of exposure to arUVR at any age.

Among patients with additional primary melanomas, those exposed to arUVR got their second primary melanoma significantly earlier; of patients exposed to arUVR through tanning beds, 67 percent had their second primary diagnosed at the time of or within 1 year of their original diagnosis vs 28 percent of nontanners (p=0.011).

Median time to diagnosis of second primary melanomas was 225 days vs 3.5 years in patients exposed to arUVR compared to those not exposed, respectively (p=0.027).

A previous study reported that exposure to tanning beds elevates the risk of malignant melanomas, particularly in women aged 45 years, highlighting the hazards of tanning bed exposure. [Int J Dermatol 2007;46:1253-1257]

The present retrospective study, which sought to determine whether individuals who developed melanoma after arUVR exposure from tanning beds had unique characteristics, included a total of 434 melanoma patients. Those who consented at the initial appointment completed a questionnaire on phenotypic traits, medical history and UVR exposure.

One limitation of the study was its relatively small sample size.

“Melanoma incidence has increased; the primary modifiable risk factor is UVR from the sun or arUVR from tanning beds,” the authors said.

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