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Pro Baseball Helps Keep Skin Cancer From Scoring
Date:6/20/2008

und that teenage boys -- often found at ballparks around the country -- are the least likely of all people to use sunscreen. That omission could catch up with them when they're older, since middle-age and older men have higher rates of skin cancer than any other gender or age group.

In the past decade, more than 19,000 skin cancer screenings have been conducted through the Play Sun Smart program, including baseball players, major league baseball staff and their families.

According to Hanke, those screenings have hit homes run for cancer detection, spotting 600 suspicious lesions, including 463 suspected basal cell carcinomas, 63 suspected squamous cell carcinomas and 66 suspected melanomas.

"That's the whole ball game right there," Hanke said.

More information

Visit Play Sun Smart to find related activities in your area.

Sun Tips for the Summer

Here's how to protect yourself from the summer sun, according to American Academy of Dermatology president Dr. C. William Hanke:

  • Use a topical sunscreen of SPF 30 or more.
  • If you're going to be out in the sun, try to do it before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m., when the sun's rays are strongest. "If you could play golf or tennis early or late in the day, then you're going to save yourself a lot of unnecessary damage," Hanke said.
  • Also cover up with long-sleeved shirts, sunglasses and hats.
  • Be especially careful near water, snow and sand, as all three reflect the sun's damaging rays.
  • Avoid tanning beds, another source of damaging ultraviolet rays.
  • Check your skin once a year on your birthday for signs of skin cancer.



SOURCE: C. William Hanke, M.
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