PUTTing an end to cancer
The world of professional golf is laden with hazards, from fairway bunkers to sand traps and ponds. MD Anderson is partnering with the PGA TOUR in hopes of fighting one of the most dangerous hazards of them all: the sun.
As the official cancer center of the PGA TOUR, MD Anderson will raise awareness on golf courses and at tournaments across the country. The institution will share sun safety tips and cancer prevention messages while providing sunscreen stations, shaded areas, skin cancer screenings for professional players and caddies, and more.
Over the next three years, the partnership is expected to make an impact on millions of fans, players and families.
SHELL HOUSTON OPEN
The partnership was announced in early April at the Shell Houston Open at the Golf Club of Houston in Humble, Texas. A Strike Through Cancer pavilion was set up at the 18th hole, complete with shaded viewing areas and adjoining shaded grandstands. In addition, free sunscreen, SPF 30 lip balm and sunglasses were provided to spectators. Fans and players, including cancer survivor and professional golfer Jarrod Lyle, also had the opportunity to “strike out” cancer on a 30-foot Strike Through Cancer wall and take interactive iPad quizzes on how to reduce their cancer risk.
MD Anderson was also out in full force at the Champions Tour’s Insperity Invitational, late April-early May at The Woodlands Country Club.
"Nearly 5 million people receive treatment for skin cancer in the U.S. every
year,” says Tom Buchholz, M.D., executive vice president and physician in-chief at MD Anderson. “Since skin cancer is the most common malignancy — and is the most preventable — public knowledge is essential to ending this disease.”
World Golf Hall of Fame member Colin Montgomerie has also teamed up with MD Anderson in hopes of elevating awareness among his golf colleagues and fans, both nationally and internationally."People aren’t aware of the simple things that can save lives,” says Montgomerie, who was announced as an ambassador of MD Anderson in June. “We have to encourage everyone around America and the global golf community to be more sensible and protect ourselves from the sun at alltimes.”
Montgomerie’s mother was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1990 and died less than a year later. Since then, Montgomerie and his family have worked to provide cancer survivors and their families with support services throughout the United Kingdom. Now, he’ll focus on educating fellow golfers and fans on the importance of prevention.“By definition, the TOUR schedule follows the sun. We start in Florida in the winter and end up north in mid-summer. We’re out in the sun an awful lot more than most,” says Montgomerie. “I’m here to help as much as anyone can. We’re making good strides within the TOUR, but it will take all of us to try and end cancer and as the MD Anderson slogan says, make the disease history.”
TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP BY COCA-COLA
MD Anderson and the PGA TOUR head east to Atlanta, Ga. in late September for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola at East Lake Golf Course. Free sunscreen, shaded grandstands and educational materials will be available to the thousands of fans expected to attend. Spectators will
also have the opportunity to show support and share messages of hope at
MD Anderson’s signature Strike Through Cancer wall.