Indoor Tanning Linked to Melanoma
Lots of coverage today on a new study linking frequent indoor tanning with a higher risk of getting melanoma, one of the more deadly types of skin cancer. But why aren't more reporters also writing about the absolute risks? NPR's Patti Neighmond reports:
New research finds people who frequent tanning salons significantly increase their risk of getting melanoma, one of the most aggressive and deadliest cancers.
Cancer epidemiologist and lead researcher DeAnn Lazovich of the University of Minnesota says melanoma risk was 74 percent higher for the people who tanned indoors compared with those who didn't...
...She found the risk increased for people who reported more than 10 years of use, more than 100 tanning lifetime sessions or spent more than 50 hours in tanning beds.
In her radio report (but not her blog post, strangely), Neighmond mentioned that the actual risk of contracting melanoma was fairly low, an important fact many other stories about the study did omitted. To learn more about accurately reporting in risk, check out Antidote blogger William Heisel's excellent recent post on absolute risk vs. relative risk.
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