Dallas Braden named 2011 spokesperson for Play Sun Smart™ program promoting skin safety

OAKLAND, Calif. (May 27, 2011) ―

Oakland A’s Starting Pitcher Dallas Braden has teamed up with Major League Baseball (MLB), the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) and the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy) as the 2011 spokesperson for Play Sun Smart™,  a program that provides information about sun safety and raises awareness of the importance of skin cancer prevention and detection. Braden lost his mother to melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, during his senior year of high school. On Mother’s Day, May 9, 2010, he pitched the 18th perfect game in modern Major League history (since 1900) against the Tampa Bay Rays in Oakland.

“Losing my mom changed my life forever and gave me firsthand knowledge of how serious skin cancer can be,” Braden said. “I appreciate the chance to share my story and to spread the word about the dangers of skin cancer. I want everyone to know that early detection is key and that skin cancer is preventable. Things like putting on sunscreen, wearing a hat or other protective clothing and checking your body regularly are simple ways to stay safe while having fun in the sun.”

Since 1999, MLB players, coaches and staff have served as role models for their fans by stepping up to the plate for skin screenings through the Play Sun Smart™  program. All 30 MLB clubs participate in the skin cancer screenings and reduce their risk for skin cancer by practicing sun-safe behaviors throughout the baseball season. Academy dermatologists have conducted more than 26,500 skin cancer screenings through the Play Sun Smart™ program.

“Skin cancer is one of the easiest cancers to detect in its early stages because the signs are right there on the surface of the skin. Early detection offers the best chance for successful treatment,” said Thomas E. Rohrer, MD, chairperson of the Academy’s Sports Committee. “It only takes a few minutes to protect and check your skin, and it could save your life.”

Skin self-examinations consist of regularly looking over the entire body, including the back, scalp, soles, between the toes and on the palms. If there are any changes in the size, color, shape or texture of a mole, if a new mole develops or any other unusual changes in the skin occur, make an appointment to see a dermatologist immediately.

Just like their favorite Club and players, the public can find a free skin cancer screening in their area by visiting the Academy’s website at www.aad.org. Enjoy America’s favorite pastime while remembering to Play Sun Smart™. For more information about sun safety and the Play Sun Smart™ program, please visit www.playsunsmart.org.

The Play Sun Smart™ awareness program is one of several cancer-related initiatives supported by Major League Baseball. Other initiatives include Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), whose mission is to support the groundbreaking scientific research aimed at getting new cancer treatments to patients in an accelerated timeframe; the Mother’s Day Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer initiative which is a joint partnership with Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world’s largest breast cancer organization, to help increase awareness of breast cancer and raise money towards the search for a cure; and the Prostate Cancer Foundation Home Run Challenge which helps increase awareness of prostate cancer and raise money for the search for a cure as part of Major League Baseball Father’s Day celebration.

About American Academy of Dermatology
The American Academy of Dermatology (Academy), founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than 17,000 physicians worldwide, the Academy is committed to: advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical, and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin. For more information, contact the Academy at (888) 462-DERM (3376) or www.aad.org.

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