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Free Skin Cancer Screening to be Held at the Rhode Island State House

The Partnership to Reduce Cancer in Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) are organizing a free skin cancer screening event at the Rhode Island State House on May 4th from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The event is open to the public, and no insurance is required. People interested in participating should check in on the second-floor rotunda. From there, they will be directed to private screening rooms. Participants can have moles checked, have partial skin examinations, and get referrals if needed for follow-up.

"By pairing up with the Partnership to Reduce Cancer to put on this free event, we are ensuring that as many Rhode Islanders as possible have access to this very important form of preventive care," said Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH. "Other steps that people can take to reduce the risk of skin cancer are to seek shade, wear protective clothing, and use SPF 30 sunscreen while in the sun. Safe sun habits and early detection save lives."

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Melanoma is one of the most serious forms of skin cancer. Approximately 260 people are diagnosed with melanoma each year in Rhode Island, and thousands of people are diagnosed with other forms of skin cancer.

The event will be hosted by State Senator Maryellen Goodwin and State Representative Christopher R. Blazejewski. It will be staffed by Roger Williams Medical Center's Department of Dermatology.

"Rates of melanoma, an often deadly form of skin cancer, continue to rise in Rhode Island," said Dr. Thomas Ruenger, Chair of the Department of Dermatology at Roger Williams Medical Center and Professor of Dermatology at Boston University School of Medicine. "Our goal in holding this screening is to raise awareness about skin cancer, to promote safe sun behaviors, and to recognize and treat melanoma as early as possible, when it is still curable."

Most melanoma is caused by exposure to UV radiation, either through sunlight or indoor tanning. If detected early, melanoma can be surgically removed and monitored carefully to reduce the possibility of recurrence and spreading. Regular skin checks by a dermatologist are highly recommended for people who: Spend a lot of time working or playing outdoors Enjoy tanning Have noticed changes in the number and sizes of moles anywhere on their bodies Have already had a skin cancer Have a family member with skin cancer The Partnership to Reduce Cancer in Rhode Island is a group of survivors, caregivers, healthcare providers, and advocates who are working together to reduce the burden of cancer in Rhode Island. More information about the Partnership is available online.

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