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NFL, American Cancer Society launch sun safety initiative

The National Football League and American Cancer Society have launched an initiative to provide free sunscreen at NFL training camps across the country. NFL teams, in partnership with local ACS offices, will provide free sunscreen onsite to fans, players, staff and all other attendees at NFL training camp locations. The initiative is part of the partners' year-round Crucial Catch campaign.

"Expanding our Crucial Catch campaign with ACS has allowed us to increase our impact in the cancer space and address issues like the link between sun exposure and skin cancer risk," said Anna Isaacson, NFL senior vice president of social responsibility. "Providing sunscreen at training camp is a simple yet incredibly effective way we can contribute and raise awareness for the fight against skin cancer."

Most skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays, and most of this exposure comes from the sun. In addition to avoiding exposure by seeking shade and wearing protective clothing, the American Cancer Society recommends using sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher and broad spectrum protection, which when used with other sun protection measures decreases the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging.

"Being in the sun is a part of enjoying life, and knowing how to protect yourself from the harmful effects of the sun is a very important part of that enjoyment," said Dr. Richard Wender, chief cancer control officer for the American Cancer Society."Sunscreens are part of that protection, as are avoiding the sun at peak hours, wearing wide brimmed hats, and wearing protective clothing and sunglasses that block UV rays."

Since 2009, the NFL's Crucial Catch has raised more than $18 million in support of ACS. Funding raised since 2012 has supported ACS's CHANGE program and has been invested in underserved communities to increase cancer education and awareness and promote life-saving screening tests. To date, health system grantees have reached more than 632,000 individuals with education, patient reminders and navigation to screening, and contributed to 138,000 breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screenings.

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