After the successful launch of player skin cancer screening on The European Tour in 2007, The European Tour, in partnership with Screen4Life, will be offering screening to players, staff and sponsors on The European Tour, the European Challenge Tour and the European Seniors Tour for the next three years.
Screen4Life will be screening at a total of seven events across the three Tours, starting at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club, Surrey, England, from May 22-25, 2008.
It follows a cancer screening programme for golfers last summer which was launched at The K Club in Ireland during the European Open last July.
By utilising the latest imaging technology and providing awareness and education on preventative measures, the risks associated with prolonged exposure to the sun’s effects can be significantly reduced.
Players will be screened using the latest imaging technology. Each mole is viewed to a depth of 2mm below the surface enabling the nurse to determine accurately if anything less than normal is going on. Working with digital output, any moles or lesions that appear less than 100 per cent normal can immediately be referred by email to Screen4Life’s Medical Consultants for further review and treatment as necessary.
Timothy Dodd, managing director of Screen4Life, said, “We applaud the initiative The European Tour has taken. The facts are that there will be over 100,000 new cases of skin cancer in the UK and Ireland this year and early detection through screening greatly improves survival chances.
“American sources estimate that 250,000 golfers worldwide get skin cancer each year.”
Sweden’s Peter Hedblom believes the screening programme will be a valuable addition to all three Tours.
He said, “As a player you always want to go on the course knowing that everything is alright so you can concentrate on your golf and it is always best to be safe. This is a great initiative by Screen4Life which I’m sure everyone will take advantage of.”
Dr Roger Hawkes, chief medical officer of The European Tour, said that by taking some basic precautions and regularly checking moles and lesions, the risk of contracting skin cancer is dramatically reduced.
“This is a good message for anyone that spends any time outside in that they should be aware that they are at risk and should keep an eye of their skin for any changes,” said Dr Hawkes.
“They should take precautions from very early on in life. We are very pleased that Screen4Life is able to come back and look after our players for another three years. Their help was greatly appreciated by the players.”
So what can golfers do to protect themselves from skin cancer? The answer is straightforward according to Timothy Dodd: follow a few simple rules and you can greatly reduce the risks.
Get into the habit of applying Sun Protection Factor (15+ or higher), even if it seems overcast. Pay particular attention to the tops of ears, nose, hands and exposed arms and legs.
Cover up in the sun. Always wear a hat (and sun glasses in strong sunlight). Make sure you never burn. Don’t fry while waiting for a four ball – stand in the shade if you can.
If you have any questions about skin cancer, or if you are a club player, secretary or professional and would like to arrange a Skin Cancer Screen at your club, please contact Screen4Life at Timothy.Dodd@Screen4Life.co.uk.