Indoor tanners have a greater tendency to be screened for skin cancer and to receive that screening at an earlier age compared with nontanners, according to the results of a recent study published in JAMA Dermatology.

The investigators sought to examine the association between indoor tanning and skin cancer screening. The primary outcome of the survey study was self-reported full-body skin cancer screening by a physician. The secondary outcome was correlates of skin cancer screening among indoor tanners and nontanners.

A total of 30,352 adults participated in the study (51.98% women; 78.49% white). Overall, 16.43% of the participants had indoor tanned, and 21.59% of those participants had tanned within the last year. In terms of skin cancer screening, 30.18% of indoor tanners and 19.52% of nontanners had received screening.


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Correlates of screening for indoor tanners and nontanners included older age (indoor: odds ratio [OR], 4.29 [95% CI, 2.72-6.76] and nontanners: OR, 5.14 [95% CI, 4.01-6.58]), higher income (OR, 2.08 [95% CI, 1.50-2.88]; OR, 1.79 [95% CI, 1.51-2.12]), seeking online health information (OR, 0.71 [95% CI, 0.56-0.91]; OR, 0.65 [95% CI, 0.58-0.72]), family history of melanoma (OR, 1.92 [95% CI, 1.26-2.93]; OR, 1.58 [95% CI, 1.21-2.05]), family history of skin cancer (OR, 1.59 [95% CI, 1.17-2.17]; OR, 1.61 [95% CI, 1.33-1.94]), very high sun protection factor sunscreen use (OR, 0.57 [95% CI, 0.42-0.78]; OR, 0.71 [95% CI, 0.61-0.82]), and receipt of a professional spray-on tan (OR, 0.60 [95% CI, 0.41-0.88]; OR, 0.51 [95% CI, 0.32-0.81]).

Correlates of skin cancer screening for nontanners only included white race, non-Hispanic ethnicity, email use, having a usual clinic or physician’s office, emergency department visits, having received a prior cancer diagnosis, not experiencing any worry about medical bills, use of sun protection, and use of sunless self-tanning.

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The researchers concluded that on the basis of the findings of this study, providing the public with greater access to health information and healthcare for skin concerns both should be investigated as potential strategies for increasing the rates of skin cancer screening, particularly among high-risk groups such as indoor tanners. Interventions should be aimed at targeting indoor tanners who are <40 years of age or have a household income of <$100,000 per year, both of which groups are less likely to receive screening than others.

Reference

Heckman CJ, Handorf E, Auerbach MV. Prevalence and correlates of skin cancer screening among indoor tanners and nontanners [published online April 4, 2018]. JAMA Dermatol. doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.0163