PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The rumors about former Steelers’ coach Bill Cowher returning to coaching have swirled for years, but Cowher says he’s happy working for CBS Sports as an analyst.
It allows him time to dedicate to his passions, like beating melanoma, which is the cancer that took his wife, Kaye, in 2010.
“When she was young, she was in North Carolina in the tobacco fields picking tobacco and probably was not using suntan lotions,” said Cowher of his wife.
“So, as a child growing up; again, that’s why I say the older you are, be more aware of your body, and there [are] little signs that are there that can help you then make sure that you nip this early enough so that it does not become lethal.”
Cowher has thrown his support behind a group aimed at wiping out melanoma.
“Skin cancer is incredibly common,” says Dr. Elizabeth K. Kale, of Melanoma Exposed. “In fact, one in five Americans will develop some type of skin cancer in their lifetime. That includes non-melanoma types, which are much more common, which are basal and sqamous carcinoma. Melanoma though is without question the most deadly accounting for more than 75 percent of skin cancer related deaths.”
Known as a no-nonsense coach when he roamed the Steelers’ sidelines, Cowher knows the facts about melanoma, and that macho, tough men are not immune.
“Wear large brimmed hats, suntan lotion, staying out of the tanning booths. Don’t worry about your tan. Worry about your skin,” says Cowher. “Like you said men are twice as likely to die from this as women and if you know that – and also know that if you get detected early – you can cure that. But once it gets inside you, it’s lethal and deadly and we are trying to tell as many people as we can about this.”
Now, Cowher is doing PSAs for the group, Melanoma Exposed.com, urging base-line screening tests before it’s too late.
“The good news is it is not too late,” Cowher adds. “People used to take the approach, the damage is already done. Why bother now? There are some very good studies that if you start today to protect yourself, you can decrease your chance for getting melanoma later in life.”