The Seattle Mariners are joining Major League Baseball to promote sun safety this summer through the Play Sun Smart initiative.
On Sunday, May 31, when the Mariners play the Cleveland Indians (1:10pm first pitch), fans at Safeco Field will get tips on how to protect themselves from the sun's harmful rays, one lucky row will receive complimentary sunscreen, and head of University of Washington Dermatology, Dr. Paul Nghiem, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Additionally, players, coaches and staff from all 30 Clubs will serve as role models for fans by participating in skin cancer screenings and practicing sun-safe behaviors throughout the season.
Current estimates are that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Early detection is essential as skin cancer is highly curable if detected and treated promptly. Fans can spot skin cancer early by regularly looking over their entire bodies, including the back, scalp, soles, between the toes and on the palms. If there are any changes in the size, color, shape or texture of a mole, if a new mole develops or any other unusual changes in the skin occur, fans are encouraged to make an appointment to see their dermatologist immediately.
Play Sun Smart is a joint effort by Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) and the American Academy of Dermatology. The goal is to promote sun safety, raise awareness of skin cancer and offer prevention and detection tips to the baseball community. Since 1999, Academy dermatologists have conducted nearly 37,000 skin cancer screenings through this program. More than 1,200 suspicious lesions have been detected, including 155 melanomas, through the Play Sun Smart club screenings.
The Play Sun Smart campaign is a reminder to fans to practice safe sun behaviors and check the Academy of Dermatology's website to find a free skin cancer screening in their area.
The Play Sun Smart program is one of several cancer-related initiatives supported by Major League Baseball. Other initiatives include Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), whose mission is to support groundbreaking scientific research aimed at getting new cancer treatments to patients quickly; the Mother's Day Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer initiative, which is a program to help increase awareness of breast cancer and raise money towards the search for a cure; and the Prostate Cancer Foundation's Home Run Challenge, which helps increase awareness of prostate cancer and raises money for the search for a cure as part of the MLB Father's Day celebration. To learn more about sun safety and the Play Sun Smart program and also Major League Baseball's various charitable initiatives, please visit MLBCommunity.org.