When Derek Lowe warns of the dangers of skin cancer, he's not paying lip service. The Dodgers right-hander has his own personal experience.
Although it was not life-threatening, Lowe still had the harrowing experience of having a cancerous tumor removed from his nose in 2002. Now, he doesn't hesitate to remind anyone within ear shot to slather on some sunblock. He also builds the message into his discussions with kids groups.
Lowe does not know why he developed his own case of skin cancer.
"I believe it stemmed from being a child, never wearing sunblock and being fair-skinned. Growing up [in Dearborn, Mich.], you wouldn't think you'd be in the sun that much. So I felt it's important to relay the message to kids to wear sunblock. Skin cancer is preventable."
Lowe spreads the message wherever he can.
"I came across a lot of kids -- the Red Sox had a lot of kids camps, same with the Dodgers," he said. "It's important to talk to them.
"Not that many people in baseball have had skin cancer. I wouldn't say they do as much as they can to prevent it. In Dodger Stadium, you sweat a lot in afternoon games and you have to keep re-applying. The more you sweat, the more it rubs off.
"I tell kids, try to make it routine. When you brush your teeth in the morning, apply it. Re-apply it every three-four hours. Once you get in a routine, it's pretty easy to do. Playing baseball, the majority of us live in warm climates in winter, so we're used to it."
Lowe has been given a clean bill of health on any re-occurrence.
"It's not a very pleasant experience going through that," he said. "Hopefully the word will get out and hopefully with adults, too."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.