In the United States, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, and ultraviolet or UV radiation from the sun is the main cause. Most golfers are aware of this scary fact, but skin cancer still plagues this group of recreationalists. Just ask PGA pros Adam Scott or Rory Sabbatini, both of whom have battled skin cancer.
To help spread the word and publicize early detection of skin cancer, the Skin Cancer Foundation will be hitting the road in a 38-foot customized RV with two private exam rooms.
The RV’s official title Destination: HealthySkin, will travel the country from May to August, stopping at 35 locations in 18 cities during its 10,000-mile journey. These include:
- New York, NY – Monday, May 13 & Tuesday, May 14
- Jacksonville, FL – Tuesday, May 21
- Miami, FL – Saturday, May 25 & Sunday, May 26
- New Orleans, LA – Thursday, May 30 & Friday, May 31
- Houston, TX – Wednesday, June 5 & Thursday, June 6
- Austin, TX – Saturday, June 8 & Sunday, June 9
- Phoenix, AZ – Saturday, June 15 & Sunday, June 16
- San Diego, CA – Thursday, June 20 & Friday, June 21
- Santa Monica, CA – Sunday, June 23 & Monday, June 24
- San Francisco, CA – Saturday, June 29 & Sunday, June 30
- Salt Lake City, UT – Friday, July 5 & Saturday, July 6
- Denver, CO – Saturday, July 13 & Sunday, July 14
- Omaha, NE – Friday, July 19 & Saturday, July 20
- Chicago, IL – Monday, July 22 & Tuesday, July 23
- Indianapolis, IN – Saturday, July 27 & Sunday, July 28
- Louisville, KY – Thursday, August 1 & Friday, August 2
- Nashville, TN – Sunday, August 4 & Monday, August 5
- Greenwich, CT – Sunday, August 11
Inside the RV, local dermatologists provide free full-body skin cancer screenings, which are given on a first come, first served basis. Participants will also receive educational materials and Shiseido brand Clear Stick UV Protector SPF 50+. Staff will be on hand to operate a Canfield Reveal Imager—a portable skin analysis imaging system that visualizes UV damage.
The Skin Cancer Foundation is the only global organization solely devoted to the prevention, early detection, and treatment of skin cancer. The Foundation recommends that everyone, especially golfers, get a professional skin exam with a dermatologist each year. They also strongly suggest practicing monthly head-to-toe self-exams, looking for any new or changing lesions that might be cancerous or precancerous.
In addition to wearing sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses, here are a few additional tips:
- Take advantage of twilight golfing or hiking when the sun isn’t at its peak.
- While outside, whenever possible, take a break in the shade. Give your skin a rest from the sun.
- Apply at least one ounce of water-resistant, broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to all exposed areas 30 minutes before heading out to the course. Look for a sport formula which is sweat resistant and won’t run into your eyes. And remember to reapply every two hours.
- Wear sun protective clothing. Even though the sun is high in the sky, protective clothing can make a world of difference in the amount of sun that’s affecting your skin. A quick search on Amazon will reveal several manufacturers who make sun protective clothing designed for the golf course.
Since its inception in 1979, the Skin Cancer Foundation has recommended following a complete sun protection regimen that includes seeking shade and covering up with clothing, including a wide-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses, in addition to daily sunscreen use. For more information, visit SkinCancer.org.
See also: May Is Skin Cancer Awareness Month
Rick Stedman is an avid golfer, RVer, and writer who lives in Olympia, Washington. Rick writes a golf column, “The RV Golfer,” which is published every month in rvlife.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.