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13 Apr


YORKSHIRE County cricketers have been screened for signs of skin cancer at a special clinic held today – Friday, April 10th – at Chapel Allerton Hospital, Leeds, in partnership with Yorkshire Cancer Research.

Today’s screening coincides with the death of former Australia captain and commentator Richie Benaud, who passed away this morning aged 84 while being treated for the disease.

First team players including Andrew Gale, Steven Patterson, Tim Bresnan and Richard Pyrah attended appointments at the hospital’s Dermatology clinic as part of the charity’s Sun Awareness campaign.

Yorkshire Cancer Research is the official charity partner of Yorkshire County Cricket Club for the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Throughout the summer the two organisations will work together to raise awareness of skin cancer across the 747 cricket clubs in the county and highlight the importance of wearing the right headgear, clothes and sunscreen while watching cricket and playing the game.

Cases of a type of skin cancer called malignant melanoma in Yorkshire have increased by 170% over the past 25 years according to statistics provided by Public Health England. The increase is considered to be linked to changes in sun-related behaviour and more holidays abroad. Cricketers have a particularly high risk of developing melanoma due to the amount of time they spend in the sun.

Yorkshire Captain Andrew Gale said: “Today is a very sad day for cricket. Richie Benaud was a massive icon in the game not just as a player but as a commentator as well, so it’s very apt that we’ve just been tested for skin cancer.

“As cricket players we spend a lot of time out in the sun in the summer so it’s definitely beneficial for the lads to see the doctors and get checked out. We’re also keen to raise awareness among people at cricket clubs throughout Yorkshire and our partnership with Yorkshire Cancer Research is really helping us spread the word.”

Dr Wal Hussain, Consultant Dermatologist at Chapel Allerton Hospital, part of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “One of the things we try and educate people about is the importance of early detection in diagnosing and curing skin cancer and this is where the role of screening is so important. If you are worried the first step is to go and have a chat with your GP. The phrase we’re trying to promote is ‘If in doubt, check it out’.”

Dr Yvette Oade, Chief Medical Officer at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Trustee at Yorkshire Cancer Research, added: “It’s fantastic to see Yorkshire’s cricketers leading the way in cancer screening and setting an example to sports people and supporters across the county. It’s extremely important to wear high factor sunscreen when outdoors for a long period of time, be aware of any unusual changes to the skin and see your doctor if you are worried. With skin cancer incidence rates in Yorkshire rising at an alarming rate, it’s vital that we drive home this message.”


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