Hearing the statistics about melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, can be sobering.

It’s the second most common form of cancer in young people between the ages of 10-19, and the most common cancer among those between the ages of 20-30. While a combination of factors can cause melanoma, doctors believe that exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is a significant factor.

That means that outdoor athletes, including lacrosse players, could be at higher risk for skin cancer due to increased sun exposure. Fortunately, there are also safeguards that can reduce the risk.

Providing the lacrosse community with greater awareness and education about melanoma, its prevention, and playing sun safe, was a driving force behind US Lacrosse’s recent partnership with the Claire Marie Foundation.

The newly-formed collaborative relationship caught the attention of WJZ-TV, the CBS affiliate in Baltimore, which aired the story below:

The Claire Marie Foundation is the only non-profit organization in the United States to focus exclusively on preventing melanoma in adolescents and young adults through awareness, education and free skin screenings. Dr. Bruce Griffin, director of the Center for Sport Science at US Lacrosse, spoke about the benefits of the partnership.

“Having them out at tournaments and events that US Lacrosse sponsors can help parents and athletes understand the risk, and how to prevent them,” he said.

Playing sun safe includes consistent application of liquid sunscreen, wearing UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) 50 clothing that blocks damaging rays from reaching the skin, and getting annual screenings by a licensed dermatologist.