A recent article in The Washington Post reported on a little known side effect of playing baseball, America’s favorite past time. Curious what it could be? Keep reading.
“Each profession has its accompanying hazards,” The Post reported, “and playing professional baseball has its share. One that affects all people in the game and is often overlooked is skin cancer. Spring training means seven weeks in sunny Arizona or Florida. The heart of the season is during the summer…Nationals hitting coach Rick Schu, in his 33rd year in professional baseball, has had spots of cancer cells burned from his face and ears every spring for the past few years…
Third base coach Bobby Henley ignored a mark on his left cheek for a year until discovering last spring it was cancer, and a big section of skin was removed. Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer, in 2012. This March, Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt revealed he recently dealt with Stage 3 melanoma and underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatment.”
Spending so much time in the hot sun without sunscreen, not surprisingly, put these players at risk for developing skin cancer. Sadly, practicing sun safety hasn’t been a huge priority for the major leagues – until now, when skin cancer has already become an issue for so many. If you spend a lot of time outdoors playing sports, or have in the past, there are a few things you need to know.
- Preventing skin cancer means staying out of the sun if you can (preferably between 10 AM and 4 PM, when the sun is the strongest), even on cloudy days.
- If it’s your job to be out during these hours, wear a minimum of SPF 30 during cooler months and an SPF 50 during spring and summer.
- Be sure to cover your whole body so you don’t accidentally miss certain areas.
- Re-apply sunscreen often, about every 2 hours, or more if you’re sweating. Waterproof sunscreen is best if you perspire.
- Make sure the sunscreen you select is “broad-spectrum”, which protects against UVA and UVB rays.
Did you know that more than one blistering sunburn during childhood or adolescence more than doubles a person’s chance of developing melanoma? That means hours on the little league field may have put you at risk but, since we can’t hop in the time machine, early detection is key to overcoming skin cancer.
- We recommend a once yearly skin cancer screening with a dermatologist and monthly self-examinations.
- Become familiar with your moles and freckles, so you can notice any changes in the future.
- Don’t forget areas of your body that are harder to see, like your head, between your toes, the back of your legs and the underside of your arms. You can also use a hand-held mirror to increase your visibility.
- Know the ABCDE’s of skin cancer. Not sure what this is? Click here (https://savincenter.com/medical-dermatology/skin-cancer-treatment/) to learn them on our website.
Schedule your skin cancer screening today – just call (203) 865-6143.