The Seattle Mariners, Major League Baseball and the American Academy of Dermatology are once again joining together to help raise awareness of the increasing incidence of skin cancer and urge fans to practice sun-safe behavior.
The 15th Annual Play Sun SmartTM Day at Safeco Field will be Tuesday, June 4, when the Mariners take on the Chicago White Sox. All fans will receive a sample of sunscreen, and Dr. John Olerud, head of Dermatology at the University of Washington Medical School, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the game. Dr. Olerud was an All-American catcher at Washington State University, and is the father of former Mariners first baseman John Olerud.
The Play Sun Smart campaign is designed to raise awareness of skin cancer and offer prevention and detections tips to the baseball community. Skin cancer affects one in five Americans and more than one million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year.
As with many forms of cancer, early detection is essential, and is easy to do yourself by regularly checking your back, scalp, soles, even between the toes and on our palms. Any changes in size, shape, color or texture of a mole, or unusual changes in skin, can be warning signs of cancer, and should be checked out by a dermatologist.
Prevention measures include wearing protective clothing, avoiding the sun's most intense rays at midday, and generously applying water-resistant sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15, even on Seattle's cloudy days.
For more information about sun safety and the Play Sun Smart program, go to MLBCommunity.org.