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Mariners & MLB team up to raise skin cancer awareness

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The Seattle Mariners and Major League Baseball are teaming up to help raise awareness of skin cancer and the importance of early detection as part of the MLB-wide Play Sun Smart program.

On Tuesday, June 17, before the Mariners take on the San Diego Padres, Dr. Sylvia Lee, a medical oncologist and researcher at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Dr. Lee specializes in melanoma, an aggressive and potentially fatal form of skin cancer. Dr. Lee is leading research into whether a patient's immune system can recognize and fight melanoma.

During the game, there will be information on MarinersVision to educate fans about skin cancer and the importance of prevention and screening. Fans can also receive samples of sunscreen. Current estimates are that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Early detection of skin cancer is essential as skin cancer is highly curable if detected early and treated promptly. More than 1,100 suspicious lesions have been detected, including 137 melanomas, through the Play Sun Smart club screenings. Fans can spot skin cancer early by regularly looking over their entire bodies, including the back, scalp, soles, between the toes and on the palms. If they see anything unusual, fans are encouraged to make an appointment to see their dermatologist immediately.

Play Sun Smart is a joint effort of MLB, Major League Baseball Players Association and the American Academy of Dermatology. The goal of Play Sun Smart is to raise awareness of skin cancer and offer prevention and detection tips to the baseball community. Since 1999, Academy dermatologists have conducted nearly 34,000 skin cancer screenings through the program.

For more information about sun safety and the Play Sun Smart program, please visit MLBCommunity.org.

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