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Melanoma Research Foundation Provides Free Skin Checks to IRONMAN World Championship Attendees


Dermatologist-led screenings help spot potential skin cancers early in athletes who often train in the sun

WASHINGTON, D.C. — IRONMAN athletes expect to face many obstacles, but many don’t anticipate a serious health issue associated with training in the sun. That’s why the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) is partnering with IRONMAN® to offer free skin checks at the IRONMAN® World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, helping attendees catch potential problems early.

Long hours spent training in the sun can mean an increased risk of being diagnosed with melanoma. In fact, dermatologists engaged by the MRF at previous IRONMAN events found suspicious lesions on event participants that were possible melanomas, underscoring the importance of regular skin checks for athletes.

In the days before the Oct. 13 race, the MRF will have a team of dermatologists on site to offer free skin screenings to athletes and other attendees. Dermatologists will be available at the MRF booth in Hale Halawai Park from Oct. 10 through Oct. 12 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Attendees will also be able to pick up free sunscreen and information about sun safety at the MRF booth.

“It is important for athletes, who often spend long hours training in the sun, to take advantage of this opportunity to get their skin screened by a dermatologist,” said Timothy J. Turnham, the executive director of the MRF. “The screenings give athletes a chance to detect potential problems as early as possible. Melanoma is usually curable if it is caught before it spreads to other parts of the body, but it is often deadly if found too late.”

The MRF began its partnership with IRONMAN in early 2012 to promote melanoma awareness and prevention among athletes and fund research to generate new treatment breakthroughs. As part of its partnership, the MRF organizes teams of athletes to raise money for melanoma research by participating in IRONMAN races as a part of the MRF’s Miles for Melanoma team.

The MRF and IRONMAN will continue their partnership to fight melanoma into 2013. Athletes are encouraged to join the Miles for Melanoma team during any 2013 IRONMAN event. All athletes who raise money for Miles for Melanoma will be eligible for:

  • Incentive prizes based on fundraising levels
  • A welcome kit with training gear

For more information about the IRONMAN World Championship and the MRF’s partnership with IRONMAN, please visit the MRF and Ironman websites.


About Melanoma

Melanoma is one of the fastest growing cancers in the United States and can strike men and women of all ages, all races and skin types. With a one in 50 lifetime risk of developing melanoma, nearly 76,000 Americans are expected to be diagnosed with the disease in 2012, resulting in over 9,000 deaths. Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25- to 29-years-old and the second most common cancer in adolescents and young adults 15- to 29-years-old.

The majority of melanomas occur on the skin; in fact, melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer.  Melanoma can also occur in the eye (ocular, or uveal melanoma), in mucous membranes (mucosal melanoma), or even beneath fingernails or toenails.

About Melanoma Research Foundation

The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) is the largest independent, national organization devoted to melanoma in the United States. Committed to the support of medical research in finding effective treatments and eventually a cure for melanoma, the MRF also educates patients and physicians about prevention, diagnosis and the treatment of melanoma. The MRF is an active advocate for the melanoma community, helping to raise awareness of this disease and the need for a cure. The MRF’s website is the premier source for melanoma information seekers. More information is available at www.melanoma.org.

Media Contact:   

Lauren Smith                        
Jones Public Affairs                    
(202) 591-4065                    
[email protected]