Players Should Make Sun Protection A Part Of Their Uniform
One in five Americans will develop some type of skin cancer over the course of their lifetimes. With early detection and treatment, however, most skin cancers are completely curable. Dr. Ian Maher began the Sun Safe Soccer programs to spread the message and inspire others to practice sun protection habits to soccer clubs and leagues across the country.
Youth Soccer News: Practicing Sun Safe Soccer is vital in the fight against skin cancer.
The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, and the Sun Safe Soccer program selected Southern California’s preeminent youth soccer club, San Diego Surf Soccer Club, to work with and test out samples in a highly successful out reach program. Since sun exposure in early life is the leading cause of skin cancer in adulthood and youth soccer players spend many hours every week practicing their favorite sport, it is important to protect these players from the harmful rays of the sun. As we know, skin cancer is largely caused by ultraviolet radiation from the sun and ASDS recommends avoiding sun exposure during peak hours (10 am – 2 pm) is important – which is usually impossible for most youth player! That is why it’s so important to wear sun screen whenever possible. Amanda Spejcher, Communications and Marketing Specialist for the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery wants sun screen to be part of the soccer uniform. It makes good sense that players should wear sun screen just like they wear cleats.
Being safe in the sun while playing soccer is vital in the fight against skin cancer (most sun damage is done before 18 years of age). The steps to being safe are easy to remember:
Before the Game: Sunscreen Before Shinguards
Sunscreen is the best on-field defense against the harmful effects of the sun’s rays. In fact, studies have shown that sunscreen use reduces the risk of melanoma-related death by 50 percent. In order to be effective, sunscreen must be applied 15 minutes before vigorous activity (even when it’s cold/cloudy). That’s why sunscreen goes on first, then shinguards.
During & After the Game: Cool Off and Cover Up
Seek shade and avoid sun exposure when possible. Use tents and take half-time breaks and post-game talks in the shade when possible. Use Sun-protective clothing – such as long sleeves and sunglasses – to protect the skin from the sun and keep your body cool.
Skin Cancer: What You Need to Know
There are many different kinds of skin cancers, with each type being distinguished by the types of skin cells that are primarily affected. The three most common forms of skin cancer are:
Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)
The most common skin cancer and the most frequent cancer in humans, BCC affects more than 1 million people each year in the United States. BCC develops in the basal cells that make up the deepest layer of the epidermis, the top layer of the skin. BCC may appear as a shiny, translucent or pearly bump; a sore that does not heal; a pink, slightly elevated growth; a reddish irritated patch of skin; or a waxy scar-like lesion. It is most commonly found on skin that has been chronically exposed to the sun, such as the face, ears, scalp, chest and back. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent damage to surrounding tissue.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)
This cancer begins in the squamous cells, which also are found in the upper layer of the skin. More than 200,000 cases are reported each year in the United States. SCC may appear as a crusted or scaly area of skin with a red, inflamed base that resembles a growing bump, a non-healing ulcer or a crusted patch of skin. While it usually appears on areas of the body that frequently are exposed to the sun, SCC can develop anywhere, including areas that never typically receive sunlight. SCC requires early treatment to prevent it from causing damage to surrounding body features and from spreading to other areas of the body.
This cancer begins in the melanocytes, the cells that provide the skin’s color. Melanoma is one of the deadliest forms of skin cancer because it can spread rapidly inside the body. Approximately one American dies from melanoma every hour. With early detection and proper treatment, most melanomas are easily cured with minor surgical procedures. Once melanoma leaves the skin and spreads inside the body, the cure rates drop dramatically.