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Dolphins and Melanoma Exposed Team Up to Host Free Skin Screening Event

Posted Jun 4, 2012

Living in the Sunshine State comes with lots of benefits, including the ability to play golf, go fishing and relax at the beach year round. But the sun's UV rays are a risk factor for melanoma, and residents of the Sunshine State must be especially careful.

The Miami Dolphins are stepping to the forefront next month with Melanoma ExposedTM Screen. Protect. Know. Tell. The official kickoff event at Sun Life Stadium on June 16th, offers free public skin screening to those in attendance. The Dolphins are one of four NFL teams participating in this educational campaign - led by leading melanoma advocacy groups, former professional football Bill Cowher and Bristol-Myers Squibb - to raise awareness of melanoma and its risk factors and to encourage people to get screened.

“Melanoma should be on every Floridian's mind. Most Americans are unaware of the seriousness of melanoma,” said Miami Dolphins CFO Mark Brockelman, whose wife, Jan, passed away from the disease in 2010 and who is the local spokesperson for the cause. “We are excited to welcome Melanoma Exposed to Sun Life Stadium and eager to help our fans learn more about risk factors, protecting themselves and practicing early detection strategies to prevent this dangerous form of skin cancer. The entire Miami Dolphins organization is committed to the education and prevention of melanoma.”

The Melanoma Exposed campaign is in partnership with the Melanoma International Foundation, Melanoma Research Alliance, Melanoma Research Foundation, and the Skin Cancer Foundation.

“My family learned firsthand that melanoma is not an opponent to be underestimated,” said Cowher, who lost his wife, Kaye, to skin cancer two years ago. “My philosophy is that every person needs to have a proactive approach to protect against melanoma. The strategy is simple: get screened, protect yourself and your family, know your risk factors, such as family history and number of moles, and most importantly, tell everyone you know to do the same.”

Men are almost twice as likely to die from melanoma as women, and it is the deadliest form of skin cancer, claiming the life of one American every hour. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 76,000 Americans will be diagnosed with melanoma this year and more than 5,450 of these cases will be in Florida - more than any other state but California. Only 9 percent of men consider it a health risk, and more than half have never had a screening by a doctor, according to a new survey.

The June 16 screening event, which coincides with Father's Day weekend, will allow Dolphins fans to meet players, cheerleaders and staff; have a chance to win tickets to regular-season games and have an opportunity to get screened and learn how to screen themselves for continued melanoma prevention. Additionally, three fans will be chosen to kick a field goal during one of the regular-season home games for a chance to win $10,000.

Being as Florida has the greatest annual amount of UVR (Ultra Violet Rays) exposure in the United States, the need for this type of screening and awareness is vital. Each year between 2004 and 2008, nearly 4,000 Floridians were diagnosed with melanoma and more than 16 percent of those diagnosed died. When caught early, the 5-year survival rate for melanoma is a staggering 98 percent, while in the most advanced stages that percentage drops to 15.This campaign teaches people that early detection and regular skin screenings are important and the Miami Dolphins want to make sure this message comes across in their community loud and clear. For more information, visit MelanomaExposed.com.