How To Play Golf Safe In The Sun

Armen Hareyan's picture
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To promote sun safety and skin cancer prevention among golf enthusiasts, who face heightened risks of developing skin cancer due to prolonged sun exposure, dermatologists representing the Women's Dermatologic Society (WDS) provided free skin cancer screenings and sun damage assessments at the recent LPGA's Sybase Classic Presented by ShopRite in Clifton, New Jersey. This event marked the debut of a 3-year community service campaign geared for outdoor enthusiasts, supported by L'Oreal USA.

WDS member and New Jersey dermatologist Naomi Lawrence, MD hosted the "Play Safe in the Sun" outreach event. Dr. Lawrence, board-certified in dermatology and dermatopathology, is Director of Procedural Dermatology, Cooper University Hospital. The WDS volunteer team provided free skin cancer screenings, sun damage assessments, sun safety educational materials and free sunscreen to tournament spectators over the weekend. In addition, volunteers conducted private skin cancer screenings of LPGA Tour players, a record number of male caddies and several members of the media.

The following local dermatologists volunteered for the skin cancer screenings and sun safety outreach: Naomi Lawrence, MD, (event chair), Cheryl Ackerman, MD, Adrian Connolly, MD, Ellen Cunningham, MD, Jason Marquart, MD and Suzanne Sirota-Rozenberg, DO.

Other volunteers who provided support during the outreach included: Suzie Davidowitz , Paul Fehn, Kelli Rodriguez, and Paul Rubino (all from L'Oreal USA); Thomas Moog (Canfield Imaging Systems); Vanessa DiSalvo, Joe Mamola, Mike Pinto, Blair Shepard and Sean Wilson (all from Medicis).

Highlights from the event include:

-- 90 sun damage assessments provided to the public, resulting in a majority of people who said they would change their habits after viewing their sun damage with the ultraviolet reflectance camera unit.

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-- 15 LPGA Tour Players and 20 male caddies (a record number) participated in the skin cancer screenings.

-- One caddie's story of a suspected melanoma led to a New York Times article about the importance of skin cancer prevention for golfers.

-- 17 members of the Media underwent sun damage assessments and skin cancer screenings.

-- 69 golf fans were screened during the rainy golf weekend.

-- 35% of all people screened were referred to dermatologists for further diagnosis/biopsy of suspicious sites presumptively diagnosed as skin cancer.

-- Despite inclement weather, 22,000 samples of broad-spectrum sunscreen were distributed to the public with the message, "use on sunny or cloudy days!"

-- Clifton, New Jersey Mayor James Anzaldi presented WDS with a proclamation in recognition of the organization's effort to promote skin cancer prevention and sun safety awareness in the community through "Play Safe in the Sun."

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