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Golfers urged not to play around with skin cancer risk

WITH the long hours men spend on golf courses 12 months of the year, The Cancer Council NSW is keen to tee up as many golfers as it can for a new program this month.

PROTECT YOUR SKIN: The Cancer Council NSW community programs co-ordinator Dimity Chaseling shares the love – and the sunscreen – with Tamworth Golf Club members John Clare, left, and Noel Dunford as part of the Improve Your Long Game program. Photo: Barry Smith 120216GGB03

Improve Your Long Game is the aptly-titled program, aimed at male golfers, aged 40 to 64, and will be rolled out at 42 golf clubs across NSW during February.

The Cancer Council’s Tamworth community program co-ordinator Dimity Chaseling says ongoing skin cancer trends show males are more likely to be diagnosed and to die from melanoma than females.

“Men’s risk for developing skin cancer starts increasing from the age of 40,” Ms Chaseling said.

“In NSW, by the time men are aged 50 and over, they are twice as likely to develop melanoma and three times as likely to die from it as women of the same age.

“Recreational golfers spend extended periods outdoors in an environment where water, sand and grass surfaces are highly reflective of UV radiation and where there is minimal shade available as players move across the fairways. This puts them at a high risk of sunburn, skin damage and skin cancer.”

The Cancer Council believes the best way for blokes to improve their long game, is to use sun protection every time they play golf.

“Golf is a sport that is played at all times of the year so it is vital that men understand the important role that skin cancer prevention plays,” Ms Chaseling said.

“Reducing exposure to UV radiation at any age can result in a lower risk of developing melanoma and other skin cancers.”

In this innovative program, 42 golf clubs across the state will take part in the program, offering free sunscreen, information resources on how to reduce their skin cancer risk and sunscreen pump dispensers around the courses. The Cancer Council NSW recommends golfers should use sun protection when the UV index is three and above, and for golfers to check the UV index before they set out on the course and reapply sunscreen every two hours.

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