Culture & Criticism From the Far Distant Realms
On June 8th, the San Francisco Giants will join forces with the rest of Major League Baseball to raise awareness of skin cancer via the Play Sun Smart Initiative.
Play Sun Smart links Major League Baseball (MLB), the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) and the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy) in a singular goal – to teach baseball players and the communities that support them not only how to recognize the signs of skin cancer but also ways to prevent its initial occurrence.
The Giants led the league in cancer awareness long before it was a common-place topic around baseball. Years ago, the thinking was that the ball-park should be left as a place for people to get away from their troubles. However, as times evolved, medical professionals, in collaboration with MLB, discovered that that the ball-yard was in fact the ideal place in which to confront such issues: Here in an informal and less intimidating forum where people are more apt to absorb the message.
According to the Giants, Academy dermatologists have conducted nearly 34,000 skin cancer screenings through this program since 1999. MLB is only hoping that this number will only increase, since there is a 20% chance Americans will be afflicted with skin cancer at some point in their lifetimes. Moreover, early detection and treatment is the key to survival, as prognosis markedly increases if treatment is launched before a lesion can spread.
“The Play Sun Smart awareness program is one of several cancer-related initiatives supported by Major League Baseball,” notes the Giants Community Relations Department. “Other initiatives include Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), whose mission is to support scientific research aimed at getting new cancer treatments to patients quickly; the Mother’s Day Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer Initiative, which partners with Susan G. Komen to help increase awareness of breast cancer and raise money towards the search for a cure; and the Prostate Cancer Foundation Home Run Challenge, which helps increase awareness of prostate cancer and raise money for the search for a cure as part of the MLB Father’s Day celebration.”
The Giants will kick off their skin cancer awareness campaign on June 8th against the New York Mets with an on-field pre-game ceremony. As the season rolls on, players, coaches and staff from all 30 teams will continue to partake in skin cancer screenings and promote sun-safe practices in an ongoing effort to stifle this very real threat.