Sidebottom urges cricket fans to cover up for melanoma awareness month

May is melanoma awareness month and former England, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire cricketer Ryan Sidebottom is urging cricket fans to cover up as the sun comes out and temperatures rise.

More than 12,500 new cases of melanoma were diagnosed last year and Sidebottom, an ambassador for national skin cancer charity Melanoma UK, is hopeful that this message of 'covering up' will hit home with cricket supporters.

"I'm well aware of the dangers of over exposure to the sun and the problems that melanoma patients face, having worked with the charity for a number of years," Sidebottom said.

"May is melanoma awareness month and I'm hoping that fans will protect themselves not only during this month but throughout the year.

"When playing or watching any level of cricket, especially in hot temperatures, it's important to use high levels of protection and to apply it regularly," he added.

Sidebottom is one of a number of cricketers and ex-cricketers who have joined the fight against the disease, and they include Andy Flower, who was diagnosed with melanoma in 2011.

Guy Nuttall is the founder of Melanoma UK and praised Sidebottom's work with the charity, saying:

"Ryan is one of our ambassadors who really does understand our work.

"Cricketers are well aware of the risks of being out in the sun for long periods and Ryan wants to make sure that fans are aware of the risks as well as the players.

"He's a great advocate of our work."

Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer, and more than 2,250 people died from the disease last year and worryingly, statistics show that diagnoses are up five-fold from 40 years ago while across the country, the number of people admitted to hospital with skin cancer increased by 41 per cent in five years.

A study by researchers at Public Health England indicated that admissions for both non melanoma skin cancer and malignant melanoma rose 'significantly' from 87,685 in 2007 to 123,808 in 2011.

These increases may be partly caused by the increased popularity of sunbeds and sunlamps.

Cancer Research say that more than 13,000 people are now being diagnosed with the disease every year, a figure which equates to 17 per every 100,000 in Great Britain.

In the mid-70s this figure was as low as 1,800, or around 3 per every 100,000 in Great Britain.

Melanoma UK

0808 171 2455

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