Gay, Bisexual Men Report Higher Rates of Skin Cancer Than Heterosexual Men

the ONA take:

Gay and bisexual men indoor tan more frequently and report higher rates of skin cancer than heterosexual men, a new study published online ahead of print in JAMA Dermatology has shown.

Because indoor tanning, which is highly associated with skin cancer, has been suggested to be more common among sexual minority men compared with heterosexual men, researchers sought to evaluate whether skin cancer prevalence and indoor tanning behaviors differ by sexual orientation.

For the cross-sectional study, researchers analyzed data from the 2001, 2003, 2005, and 2009 California Health Interview Surveys and the 2013 National Health Interview Survey.

A total of 192,575 men and women 18 years or older identified as heterosexual or a sexual minority (homosexual, gay, or bisexual). Of those, 78,487 were heterosexual men, 3,083 were sexual minority men, 107,976 were heterosexual women, and 3,029 were sexual minority women.

Results showed that sexual minority men were more likely than heterosexual men to report having skin cancer and having tanned indoors, while sexual minority women were less likely than heterosexual women to report having tanned indoors and having had nonmelanoma skin cancer.

“Our hope is that this finding will help increase awareness among health care providers that gay and bisexual men constitute a high-risk population for skin cancer, which in turn will lead to increased public health education and more diligent skin cancer screening in this group of men,” Sarah Arron, MD, PhD, a UCSF associate professor of dermatology, said.

“Recent research suggests that, fortunately, screening can increase early detection and decrease mortality from this disease.”

Gay, Bisexual Men Report Higher Rates of Skin Cancer Than Heterosexual Men
Gay and bisexual men indoor tan more frequently and report higher rates of skin cancer than heterosexual men.
Gay and bisexual men were up to six times more likely than heterosexual men to take part in indoor tanning, and twice as likely to report a history of skin cancer, including nonmelanoma and melanoma, according to a study led by UC San Francisco researchers.
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