May is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month and it’s also an excellent time to remind athletes to cover up. Especially since skin cancer affects roughly 5.4 million people a year. Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer. While the prognosis and treatment options are promising, cancer in any form is still very serious. The good news is that it can be prevented. One of the easiest ways to protect yourself is to cover up. Now more than ever apparel manufacturers are creating innovative sun-protective clothing. These stylish products block harmful UV rays and have some pretty cool features. Much of the sun-protective clothing in the tennis space, has moisture-wicking technology, which is made from quick-drying fabric and is lightweight. Not to mention that it’s incredibly stretchy and soft to the touch.
Types of Skin Cancer
There are different kinds of skin cancer. Nonmelanoma skin cancers are linked to sun exposure. The most common forms of this type of cancer are Basal cell carcinoma and Squamous cell carcinoma. Experts say to regularly using an SPF of 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of developing these types of skin cancers by about 40 percent. Wearing a cap or visor is also advisable. Another form of skin cancer is Melanoma. This is a much more serious type of cancer, yet, it is still treatable. Below are some statistics to keep in mind but if you see or feel something unusual, seek medical attention sooner rather than later.
- On average, a person’s risk for melanoma doubles if they have had more than five sunburns.
- Regular daily use of an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of developing melanoma by 50 percent.
- Melanoma accounts for 6 percent of new cancer cases in men, and 5 percent of new cancer cases in women.
- Men who are 49 or younger have a higher probability of developing melanoma than any other cancer.
- Women age 49 and under are more likely to develop melanoma than any other cancer with the exception of breast and thyroid cancers.
- Skin cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer.
Best in the Business
There are a lot of sun-protective clothing manufacturers out there. Sparms, Tail, and Yaffa are a few of the up-and-comers. But one of the best in the business is BloqUV. Bloq UV has been perfecting its selection for the past 10 years. During that time they discovered a proprietary blend of fabric that significantly minimize sun exposure by blocking out 98% of the sun’s rays. That’s phenomenal compared to a standard T-shirt that only blocks out about 5%. The special sun-friendly fabric was tested to withstand 100 hours of simulated light. It can shield up to UPF 50 sun protection and hold up to more than 40 home launderings. All this, not to mention it is shrink resistant.
BloqUV apparel and accessories appeal to sports and leisure customers. They make lightweight and extremely comfortable products including men’s and women’s shirts, women’s Capri shorts, and a variety of accessories such as sleeves and blankets. Their unique design allows athletes to mix and match the pieces with other popular tennis clothing brands such as Nike, Adidas, K-Swiss, Lucky In Love, and Under Armour. Fun Fact: Many of their pieces can be used on the court or in the water, so you could literally go from the court to the pool in style and comfort.
Additional Way to Protect Your Skin
There are other ways you can protect yourself and your skin. Experts suggest limiting the amount of direct sun exposure on a daily basis. They also encourage people to consider the time of day. Certainly playing tennis or pickleball in the early morning hours or hitting the courts around dusk makes for the coolest summer playing conditions. Other factors to keep in mind are the time of year, distance from the equator, altitude, and elevation, as well as the amount of cloud coverage and the reflection of the court’s surface. While the direction of the court can make a difference, hard-court materials also trap heat and can sap your energy, so playing time isn’t just about sunlight.
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