MAYWOOD, Ill. – Golfers may have more than just their short game or backswing to worry about this summer. They also may be at risk for skin cancer, according to dermatologists at Loyola University Health System (LUHS).
“Golfers spend a significant amount of time outdoors under the sun,” said Rebecca Tung, MD, director, Division of Dermatology, LUHS. “Extended exposure to harmful ultraviolet rays places this group at risk for developing skin cancer, particularly on areas of the body that aren’t covered, such as the arms, neck and ears."
Loyola dermatologists are taking steps to protect area golfers and members of the community through a free skin cancer screening from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 29, at Cress Creek Country Club, at 1215 Royal Saint George Drive in Naperville. The event, which is open to the public, will take place in the boardroom of the main clubhouse.
Many golfers are men over the age of 50. Men are more likely to be diagnosed and to die from melanoma than women in the same age group, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. The American Cancer Society reports that more than 48,500 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in men this year and that 6,300 will die of it compared with 32,000 new cases in women with 3,200 dying.
“While women are more likely to get screened for skin cancer, we hope that hosting our screening at the course will make it more convenient for men and women to get checked,” Dr. Tung said.
Loyola dermatologists also hope to raise awareness about sun safety for golfers. They recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 daily and reapplying it every two hours while on the course. They also suggest wearing protective clothing, including a wide-brimmed hat, a long-sleeved shirt and pants. They also recommend playing golf early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the sun is not at its peak.
“A skin cancer screening makes for a great Father’s Day gift,” Dr. Tung said. “We hope everyone will remind the men in their life to get a skin check. This five-minute screening can be a life-saver."
Appointments are required for the skin cancer screening. To schedule an appointment, call (630) 355-7300 ext. 16.