Ex-England and Yorkshire bowler, Ryan Sidebottom is urging cricket fans to cover up during May’s melanoma awareness month.
Over 12,500 new cases of melanoma were diagnosed last year and the ambassador for national skin cancer charity, Melanoma UK, is hoping that the message of ‘covering up’ will reach fellow cricketers and fans.
Ryan Sidebottom commented: “I’m well aware of the dangers of over exposure to the sun and the problems that melanoma patients face, having worked with the charity for a number of years. May is melanoma awareness month and I’m hoping that fans will protect themselves not only during this month but throughout the year. When playing or watching any level of cricket, especially in hot temperatures, it’s important to use high levels of protection and to apply it regularly.”
Ryan is one of many cricketers that have joined Melanoma UK’s fight against the disease, with Andy Flower, the ECB technical director of elite coaching, becoming an ambassador in 2011 following his brush with melanoma.
Gill Nuttall, founder of Melanoma UK added: “Ryan is one of our Ambassadors who really does understand our work. Cricketers are well aware of the risks of being out in the sun for long periods and Ryan wants to make sure that fans are aware of the risks as well as the players. He’s a great advocate of our work.”
Last year over 2,250 people died of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer. Recent statistics show that the number of people diagnosed with Malignant Melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, is five times higher than it was 40 years ago. Across the country, the number of people admitted to hospital for skin cancer increased by 41 per cent in five years.
According to a study, conducted by researchers at Public Health England, admissions for both non melanoma skin cancer and malignant melanoma rose ‘significantly’ from 87,685 in 2007 to 123,808 in 2011. The rise in popularity of sunbeds and sunlamps may have also contributed to the increased rates.
Cancer Research UK states that more than 13,000 people are now being diagnosed with the disease every year, or 17 for every 100,000 people in Great Britain. In the mid-70s approximately 1,800 people were diagnosed with malignant melanoma each year, or just over 3 per 100,000 people.