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Research Letter
July 2018

Prevalence of Skin Cancer Examination Among Users of Indoor Tanning Beds

Author Affiliations
  • 1Behavioral Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland
  • 2US Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, Maryland
JAMA Dermatol. 2018;154(7):840-842. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.1118

Skin cancer examinations may be critical for the early detection and treatment of skin cancer.1 Although no general population-level screening guidelines exist,2 many US medical organizations advise that individuals at an increased risk of skin cancer, including users of indoor tanning beds, may benefit from routine screening.3 In addition, policy changes have advocated for regular skin cancer examinations in this high-risk group. In 2014, the US Food and Drug Administration4 issued a reclassification of UV lamps for tanning from low-risk class I medical devices—the same designation as elastic bandages and dental floss—to moderate- to high-risk class II devices. The order also put into place stricter requirements for device labeling, including the warning directive recommending, “Persons repeatedly exposed to UV radiation should be regularly evaluated for skin cancer.”4 Given the renewed discussion about skin cancer screening among users of indoor tanning beds, the purpose of this investigation was to assess the prevalence of professional skin cancer examinations (PSEs) and skin cancer self-examinations (SSEs) among those who engage in indoor tanning behavior using estimates from a recent national survey.