According to a new study published this week in the journal JAMA Dermatology, gay and bisexual men are more at risk for skin cancer or melanoma than heterosexual men. This is because the new data reveals that there is a confirmed connection between indoor tanning and skin cancer and gay and bisexual men use tanning facilities far more than heterosexual men.
Study co-author Matthem Dr. Mansh stated: “Overall, the rate of indoor tanning among these men is between three to six times greater than it is among heterosexual men. Gay and bisexual men also have about twice the rate of skin cancer compared with heterosexual men, both in terms of melanoma and non-melanoma.”
University of California, San Francisco associate professor of dermatology Dr. Sarah Arron, and colleagues came to this conclusion by comparatively studying 3,000 lesbian and bisexual women and approximately 3,100 gay and bisexual men and 108,000 and 78,500 heterosexual women and men, respectively. The investigative team notes that following an analysis of the collected data, they discovered that the non-heterosexual male population who utilized tanning facilities were, at least, twice more apt to develop skin cancer.
The researchers point out that the skin cancer rate for heterosexual males fluctuates between 2.7 and 3.2 percent. The skin cancer rate for bisexual and gay men who use tanning facilities was approximately 4.3 to 6.7 percent. Thus the risk still remains low in general.
Arron says: “One likely cause of more skin cancer among gay and bisexual men is greater exposure to ultraviolet radiation caused by indoor tanning. Many people, especially younger people, associate tanning with health and attractiveness, and unfortunately, that myth has serious consequences.”
Study co-author Aaron Blashill, an assistant professor of psychology at San Diego State University, California concludes: “There currently aren’t any known public health interventions targeting tanning or skin cancer among these sexual minorities.”
Gay, Bisexual Men Have Higher Cancer Risk