What’s my risk of skin cancer?

October 20th, 2015 by webuser

This is a great question, and there have been so many stories written about sunlight/sunbeds and the risk. Because of this, our association put together a few charts to explain the risk compared to other risks, much like what the airline industry did a few years back when everyone was afraid to fly. The first chart is a comparison of risks you have in your daily lives. The majority of the data in the chart comes from the World Health Organization (WHO). The skin cancer numbers you see on the chart are for all skin cancers, no matter what the cause was. The WHO does not report mortality numbers for the risk for sunbed or sunlight alone. One report out of the UK said approximately 7% of melanoma could be caused by sunbeds, and the risk of dying from melanoma if you had melanoma is less than 1 in 10 if diagnosed early. When talking about research and data, you have to realize what’s included in the numbers; commercial, home and medical sunbeds. Commercially controlled equipment carries nearly zero increased risk when you remove Skin Type 1 persons (always burns, never tans) from the equation. All professional salons ban these people from indoor tanning.


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Some people think sunbathing and smoking have the same comparable risk. As you can see in the chart above, the risks are not remotely similar.

This second chart, which was produced by the Canadian Cancer Society in 2015 also shows sunlight/sunbed and smoking carry a small fraction of the risk. The risk is small in comparison to alcohol also, when you look at all the increased risks you have compared to sunlight or sunbeds.


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Risk will always be about who controls the equipment. This is why you need to find a salon that has an industry certified operator. For more information check out TanResponsibly.ca.

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