Skin Cancer and Golfers
- 65% of melanoma cases are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.
- Men over age 40 have the highest annual exposure to UV radiation.
- The majority of people diagnosed with melanoma are white men over age 50.
- Melanoma is one of only three cancers with an increasing mortality rate for men.
Prevention Guidelines for Golfers
- Early/Late Tee Time: Tee off at sunrise or in late afternoon- avoid the sun at its most intense (between 10 am and 4 pm)
- Seek the Shade: Whenever you can, seek shade on the course- stand under a tree or sit in your cart.
- The Golden Rule: Do Not Burn!
- Wide-Brim Hats: Wear a hat with a brim extending three inches or more all the way around, shading your face, neck, ears, and shoulder tops.
- Long-Sleeve Shirts and Pants: Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, covering as much skin as possible.
- UV Protective Sunglasses: Wear wraparound sunglasses that block 99-100 percent of UV radiation, protecting the eye, eyelid, and surrounding areas.
- Protection on Overcast Days: Remember to protect yourself on overcast days: Up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV radiation can penetrate clouds and harm your skin.
- SPF 30+: Apply a generous amount of water-resistant, broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to all exposed areas 30 minutes before heading outside to play golf. Look for a sports sunscreen formula that is designed to stay put if you sweat and won’t run into the eyes and sting. An SPF 30+ lip balm will help protect your lips.
- 9th Hole Rule: Carry sunscreen with you, and reapply every two hours, immediately after sweating heavily, or at the ninth hole. Look for a sunscreen with The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to frequently overlooked spots, such as the scalp, there are sunscreen designed specifically for this area), the backs of the hands and neck, and the ears.