September 22, 2017
5 min watch

Baseball star who survived melanoma ‘suffering’ from lack of sunscreen use

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Mike Schmidt, a former member of the Philadelphia Phillies widely considered to be the greatest third baseman in Major League Baseball history, received a stage III melanoma diagnosis in 2013.

Schmidt said he accumulated tremendous amounts of sun exposure, both before and during his playing career.

“As a kid, I spent as much time outside as I could,” Schmidt, 67, told HemOnc Today. “As I grew older, I was a lifeguard. In high school and college, there was always something appealing about getting a suntan. Then I became a ballplayer, with games outside all spring, summer and fall. All along, I never used sunscreen. I have been suffering from that decision for most of my adult life.”

Following his diagnosis, Schmidt learned the disease had spread to his lymph nodes, lung and brain. He underwent a grueling regimen of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

Now cancer free, Schmidt has joined Your Cancer Game Plan, a Merck-led awareness campaign designed to help people with cancer and their loved ones cope with their health, emotional and communication needs.

In this video series, Schmidt discusses the effects of his sun exposure, as well as the circumstances that led to his melanoma diagnosis 4 years ago.

For more information about Your Cancer Game Plan, go to your – by Mark Leiser and Kristie L. Kahl