NEW YORKThe American Academy of Dermatology has unveiled three
new public service advertising campaigns targeting a broad audience
with the message that prevention and early detection are the best
weapons against skin cancer.
Professional golfer Hale Irwin, Senior Player of the Year in 1997 and
1998, is featured in the KNOW Skin Cancer: Cover Up
campaign, which consists of televised public service announcements,
print ads, and posters scheduled to appear in media outlets
throughout the country.
The Golf Channel will carry two TV spots in which Irwin offers his
tips for the smart golfer, including use of a broad-spectrum
sunscreen and wearing a broad-brimmed hat while on the links.
Five Ways to Die on a Golf Course
One of the print ads delivers the following blunt message. Five
ways to die on the golf course:
Hit by a golf ball.
Run over by a golf cart.
Whacked by a golf club.
Struck by lightning.
Forgot your hat.
The Academy has also teamed up with Major League Baseball. Throughout
the 1999 baseball season, volunteer dermatologists will give skin
cancer screenings to the players, coaches, families, and front-office
staff of selected teams.
The leadoff screening took place at Shea Stadium, with the New York
Mets marking Melanoma Monday (May 3) by having their skin examined
for signs of cancer. Professional baseball players and their
fans spend an enormous amount of time in the sun during peak sun
hours, said Darrell Rigel, MD, president of the Academy.
Were hoping that by participating in the screenings, the
players will serve as role models to the public.
Mets first baseman John Olerud, whose father is a dermatologist, was
asked how to encourage teenage athletes to use sunscreen on the
playing field. They should think of it as part of their safety
equipment, he suggested. Its as important as taping
up before the game.
A more sobering campaign features Donald Biederman, who lost his nose
and nearly his life to nonmelanoma skin cancer. After recounting a
typical American sun-seeking youth, he tells of discovering a small
red spot on the end of his nose when he was in his 60s. The spot
turned out to be a highly invasive cancer requiring more than 30
surgeries, including Mohs surgery that followed the malignancy along
his infraorbital nerve to the threshold of his brain.
In one of a pair of television spots, the camera follows a boy
playing on the beach and sitting on a boat. When I was a kid,
we all went to the beach all the time. Summers warm, were
out on the water, its really nice. It never occurred to me that
I would pay a price for that decades later, the voiceover says.
The camera returns to Mr. Biederman, who removes his prosthetic nose,
revealing a dramatically disfigured face. The Academy requests that
broadcasters air the spots during adult viewing hours because of the
disturbing nature of some of the visuals.