A sun protection campaign for golfers launches on the 8th May to raise awareness of skin cancer, the UK’s most common and fastest growing cancer. Offering specialist tips and advice, the on-line resource will educate on the risks of over exposure to the sun to encourage better habits. Devised by the Melanoma Fund, Slip! Slap! Swing! is supported by England Golf, Scottish Golf, Wales Golf, The PGA, the GCMA and the Golf Society of Great Britain, working collaboratively to promote a multi-national media campaign, targeting the UK's 4 million golfers. The sport is on the hot spot as:• When: A round can lead to prolonged sun exposure during the hottest time of the day • Where: Courses provide little shade, and highly UV reflective surfaces such as grass, water and sand • How: Players tend to dodge sunscreen to avoid a ‘greasy grip’Many golfers also believe their skin is ‘seasoned’ from years of UV exposure, or protected by a base tan, however the highest mortality rates from melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, are in older men who are less likely to use sunscreen, check their skin, or visit their GP with a concern. Julia Newton Bishop, Professor of Dermatology at the University of Leeds, says; “Over exposure to the sun can cause all types of skin cancers, however it is sunburn that is scientifically proven to increase the risk of melanoma by 50%, especially in those with skin which burns easily or with more moles than average. This vital campaign is a wake-up call; it is never too late to look after your skin.” The campaign's top 5 tips are: 1. Keep sunscreen (SPF30+), sunglasses, a hat and large umbrella in your summer kit bag. 2. Apply SPF30+ at least 20 minutes before teeing off to ensure it is effective. 3. Reapply SPF30+ every two hours, or around the 8th or 9th hole depending on your pace. 4. Use a chubby sunblock stick to protect lips, nose and ears, which are all prone to burning. 5. Check skin every month or so and if you spot any changes, visit your GP immediately. A short film featuring Jamie Cundy; Advanced Fellow PGA Golf Professional and skin cancer survivor, will be released to launch the campaign. After receiving successful treatment in 2014 Jamie understands the risks, and relays the message that ‘lowering your skin cancer risk should be just as important as lowering your handicap’. Golf clubs will be urged to get involved by displaying posters in changing rooms and sharing the film and campaign link on-line. With summer heat-waves becoming more common place, the aim will be to arm golfers with the facts on protection, early detection and prevention, keeping the sport healthy for everyone. For further information visit:www.melanoma-fund.co.uk/golf from the 1st May.
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