Few Indoor Tanners Have Been Screened for Skin Cancer

Correlates of screening include older age, family history of melanoma or skin cancer, high SPF sunscreen use
Correlates of screening include older age, family history of melanoma or skin cancer, high SPF sunscreen use

HealthDay News — About 30% of indoor tanners (ITs) have been screened for skin cancer (SC), with correlates of screening including older age, history of melanoma or SC, and use of very high sun protection factor (SPF) sunscreen use, according to a study published online April 4 in JAMA Dermatology.

Carolyn J. Heckman, PhD, from the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, and colleagues used data from the 2015 National Health Interview Survey to examine the correlation between indoor tanning and SC screening. Data were included for 30,352 participating U.S. adults; the response rate was 55.20%. 

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The researchers found that 30.18% of ITs and 19.52% of non-tanners (NTs) had been screened for SC. For ITs and NTs, correlates of screening included older age, higher income, seeking online health information, family history of melanoma or SC, very high SPF sunscreen use, and receipt of a professional spray-on tan. For NTs only, correlates included white race, non-Hispanic ethnicity, e-mail use, having a usual clinic/or physician's office, having had a previous cancer diagnosis, emergency department visits, not being worried about medical bills, sun protection, and sunless self-tanning.

"Few ITs have been screened for SC, although SC rates are higher than among NTs," the authors write. "It is not surprising that SC screening is associated with SC risk factors (e.g., family history of SC and age) among ITs."

Two authors disclosed financial ties to Pfizer.

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