Maine CDC Press Release

June 7, 2004

Groups Join with Sea Dogs to Fight Skin Cancer

Contacts: Barbara Leonard Newell Auger
  Director, Div. of Community Health Director, Office of Public & Legislative Affairs
  Bureau of Health, Dept. of Human Services Dept. of Human Services
  Tel:  (207) 287-5387 Tel: (207) 287-1921
  TTY: (207) 287-8015 TTY: (207) 287-4479
  Pager: (207) 759-1279 (all day Sunday) Pager: (207) 851-1082 (all day Sunday)



PORTLAND – The Maine Department of Human Services announced that the first 2,000 fans attending today’s Portland Sea Dogs game will receive a free packet of sun block to protect their skin, as part of ‘Protect the Skin You’re In’ day at Hadlock Field. This third annual event is being sponsored by the Maine Cancer Consortium, a partnership of DHS’ Comprehensive Cancer Control Program, the American Cancer Society and other health care and community organizations.

“We should all remember that enjoying the summer months also involves taking steps to prevent health risks,” said DHS Commissioner John R. Nicholas. “Using sunscreen when you are outside is a simple and effective way to reduce your risk of skin cancer.”

All those in attendance to see the Sea Dogs take on the New Hampshire Fishercats will be able to stop by the ‘Protect the Skin You’re In’ informational booth in the Hadlock Field concourse area. Throughout the game, the public address announcer will also be reminding the crowd about sun protection as part of a ‘Slip, Slop, Slap and Slide’ promotion. The promotion advises people in the sun to slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher, slap on a hat with a wide brim and slide on a pair of sunglasses.

Jim Beaudoin, the Sea Dogs’ Assistant General Manager for Sales And Marketing, noted that ‘Protect the Skin You’re In’ has been fully embraced by the fans. "Each year, our fans have told us how much they appreciate the free sunscreen and information on sun safety,” Beaudoin said. “At the Sea Dogs, we want to continually make people aware of the importance of using sun protection while at games, and this is one of the best ways we can do that.”

Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and can strike the young or old alike. Over one million Americans are diagnosed each year. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 280 Mainers will be diagnosed this year with melanoma, the most serious skin cancer.

Kip DeSerres, Vice-president of Cancer Control in Maine for the American Cancer Society, noted the importance of events such as ‘Protect the Skin You’re In’ for getting information out about cancer prevention. “Skin cancer is preventable just by using a few simple tools,” DeSerres said, “so the challenge for us is to remind as many people as often as possible of that fact. Once again, the Sea Dogs have given us a marvelous opportunity to work towards this goal.”

As part of Maine Caner Consortium’s campaign to reduce skin cancer, the group has also developed a ‘No Sun for Baby Program,’ a hospital-based education for new parents that promotes appropriate sun protection for newborns. This effort includes working with local and state parks and recreation departments to develop sun protection policies for campers and staff. Later this summer, the Comprehensive Cancer Control Program, along with the Department of Education, will be releasing a youth video reminding young adults in Maine about the dangers of overexposure to the sun.

More information about skin cancer and skin cancer prevention is available by contacting the American Cancer Society toll free at 1 (800) ACS-2345 or over the web at www.cancer.org. Information is also available by contacting the Maine Comprehensive Cancer Control Program at (207) 287 5358 or by visiting www.mainecancerconsortium.org.