Golfers urged to protect against skin cancer as sunnier days approach

Sunny skies means a rush for tee-times, but more golf also means an increase in the chances of getting skin cancer unless proper protective measures are taken.

That is the warning from organisers of a skin cancer screening campaign who are anxious that golfers take all possible measure to reduce their exposure to the dangerous side of the sun’s rays.

The Mole Screening Clinic on Dublin’s Grafton Street is a dedicated melanoma detection clinic and, supported by Halpenny Golf, has embarked on an awareness campaign to promote sensible skin protection for golfers.

More than 8,000 new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed every year in Ireland, with the rates having doubled between 1998-2008, making skin cancer the most common cancer in Ireland for both men and women.

“Most of the Irish population are either skin type 1 or 2; which burns regularly and tans with difficulty, so unfortunately they are at greater risk of skin cancer,” said the clinic’s managing director, Mike Malone.

“It is good to get out and about in the sun, and golf is great for fitness at anyage, but we need to protect skin from the sun’s harmful rays at all times.”

The campaign has seen information leaflets and posters made available in golf shops and participating clubs, while the clinic is offering a 25% discount, worth €50, until the end of June on all mole-mapping consultations, where moles and lesions are medically assessed and recorded for future tracking.

The clinic advises liberal and frequent use of SPF30+ broad spectrum sunscreen. Golfers should apply sunscreen 20 minutes before heading out to play, and reapply it at least every two hours. Up to 90% of UV rays can pass through light clouds, so care is also needed on cloudy days and golfers should wear clothing that covers as much skin as possible.


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