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Indoor Tanning and Tanning Dependence in Young People After a Diagnosis of Basal Cell Carcinoma

Brenda Cartmel, PhD1,2; Leah M. Ferrucci, PhD1; Peter Spain, MPH1; Allen E. Bale, MD2,3; Sherry L. Pagoto, PhD6; David J. Leffell, MD2,4; Joel Gelernter, MD5; Susan T. Mayne, PhD1,2
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut
2Yale Cancer Center, New Haven, Connecticut
3Department of Genetics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
4Department of Dermatology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
5Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
6Department of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester
JAMA Dermatol. 2013;149(9):1110-1111. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2013.5104.
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Individuals who have had basal cell carcinoma (BCC) are at high risk of subsequent BCCs and melanoma.1 Indoor tanning is an established risk factor for BCC, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.2 As such, continuing to tan indoors after a BCC diagnosis may elevate one’s risk for future skin cancers. Skin cancer survivors have sun protection behaviors that are similar to those of the general population,3 but little is known about their indoor tanning behavior. Notably, research suggests that some individuals develop tanning dependence, analogous to substance dependence,4 which could be related to continued indoor tanning. To understand better the patterns of and reasons for indoor tanning after BCC diagnosis, we assessed indoor tanning and symptoms of tanning dependence in people who had received at least 1 BCC diagnosis before age 40 years.

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