Skin cancer is something most tennis players are likely aware of, but how much do you really know about skin cancer and its prevention? Here are some facts about skin cancer:
• Half of all new cancers are skin cancers
• About one million new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year
• Most forms of skin cancer have a better than 95 percent cure rate if detected and treated early
• 6 out of 7 skin cancer deaths are from malignant melanoma
• Melanoma is more common than any non-skin cancer among people between 25 and 29 years old
• Older Caucasian males have the highest mortality rates from skin cancer.
However, the news is not all bad. Here are some tips to help you prevent too much damage from the sun when playing:
• If possible, avoid playing when the sun is at its highest (from 10am-2pm)
• Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Sunscreen should be re-applied more than once. Be sure not to neglect areas such as the ears or lips
• Wear white or light-weight clothing that covers as much skin as possible
• Wear a hat or a cap
• Turn your chair away from the sun at change-overs
The above information was compiled by Dr. Drew McCausland, M.D. of West Chester, PA; a member of the American Academy of Dermatology.