Shade Is Good: Helping to
Fight Skin Cancer
One in five Americans will develop skin cancer over the course of their lifetime. Over the past three decades, more people have had skin cancer than all the other cancers COMBINED. In 2016, 76,380 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed and 10,130 will die. The majority of melanoma cases have been attributed to sun exposure. 90% of the non-melanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to UV radiation from the sun.
Sun exposure is cumulative. Given that 23% of UV lifetime exposure occurs between the ages of 1-18 and by age 59 increases to 74 percent, utilizing all aspects of sun protection is the only responsible response. Seeking shade is one important element in a comprehensive sun protection program that includes covering exposed skin with clothing (particularly clothes made of tightly woven fabrics), wearing hats and sunglasses, and regularly using sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. All these steps taken together will help ensure that we are adequately protected from the sun’s rays when we are outdoors.
Given the beautiful place, we live and the amount of annual daily UV exposure, as a community, we must join together to address the challenge to create additional shade opportunities.
In Sarasota, the dangers of exposure to UV rays as a result of participation in daily activities accounts for over 75% of the cases of non-melanoma skin cancer diagnosed annually.
The Surgeon’s General’s Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer states that the Number One preventive is seek sun protection in outdoor setting.
The Friends of Sarasota County Parks will help fight exposure to UV rays at our County athletic fields (>110) and recreational areas by raising funds to support the installation of shade structures over bleachers and play areas. Shade Is Good (SIG), a project of Friends of Sarasota County Parks will sell sun protective and hydration products through partnerships with medical professionals and athletic teams which will receive a % of each sale to help meet their fundraising eponym goals; informational kiosks at medical offices, Sarasota park and beach concessions; at pop-up stores at community events and through e-commerce.