Moffitt Cancer Center’s Sun Safety Tour Screens Nearly 700 People

April 27, 2009

Findings show 10% increase in suspected skin cancers over last year’s results

Tampa, Fla.— The Tampa Bay Rays and Moffitt Cancer Center recently wrapped up its second annual Spring Swing-Moffitt’s Sun Safety Tour™, a program in search of the early signs of skin cancer, promoting sun safety and skin cancer awareness during a six-stop tour of spring training venues throughout Florida.                                   

The program screened 695 people during its tour, from Feb. 26to March 22, while reaching approximately 44,000 more with the message of sun safety at the various spring training venues on game day.

“We are very pleased that this partnership with Moffitt was once again so successful in educating our community on the dangers of overexposure to the sun,” said Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg. “As Tampa Bay’s major league baseball team, we embrace our responsibility to support and promote important programs such as this."

The screenings found an overall total increase of 10 percent in suspected cancerous lesions and suspected pre-cancerous lesions or moles as compared to last year’s tour. Of the 695 people screened this year, 411 suspected cancerous lesions and suspected pre-cancerous lesions or moles were found, including three suspected melanomas. Last year, after screening the same number of people, 372 suspected cancerous lesions and suspected pre-cancerous lesions or moles were found, including seven suspected melanomas.

“Wherever we’ve gone in Florida, we’ve seen a high percentage of people with severe and permanent sun damage, and quite a few with precancerous or cancerous skin lesions,” said Dr. Vernon Sondak, program leader of Cutaneous Oncology at Moffitt. “It’s important that people are aware of the risk, take appropriate sun precautions, and get your skin checked periodically and anytime there is a concern.”

For information on Spring Swing and skin cancer, please visit: www.moffitt.org/springswing.                      

About H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute Located in Tampa, Florida, Moffitt Cancer Center  is the only Florida-based cancer center with the NCI designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center for its excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt currently has 15 affiliates in Florida, one in Georgia and two in Puerto Rico. Additionally, Moffitt is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a prestigious alliance of the country’s leading cancer centers, and is listed in U.S. News & World Report  as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for cancer. Moffitt’s sole mission is to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.

About the Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays have proudly represented Major League Baseball in the Tampa Bay region since 1998. The organization and its foundation are committed to building a strong community bond through meaningful interaction and charitable contributions.

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