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Tanning: Cancer Cause on 'Covered' Skin?

Biggest Jump in Common Skin Cancer on Areas Not Exposed to Everyday Sun

Intentional Tanning May -- or May Not Be -- to Blame continued...

"One of the potential causes of squamous cell carcinomas is there's a defect in the gene that repairs DNA and prevents development of skin cancer. But we don't know from this study the genetics of these individuals, or how their genetics evolved over this 30-year period. We don't know if these people have arsenic in their drinking water. We don't know if these families had another disorder that can explain their rates of skin cancer. We don't know what environmental changes occurred in Sweden since 1961 that may play a role.

"These authors don't include or exclude other potential factors; they just jump to the conclusion that tanning is the cause," she tells WebMD. "In the U.S., African Americans have an equal incidence of squamous cell carcinoma on exposed and non-exposed skin areas. Are we going to say they're going to tanning beds? I don't think so."

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