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Program of Free Skin Cancer Screenings to Kick-off at Narragansett Town Beach

U.S. Senator Jack Reed will join staff from the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH), the Partnership to Reduce Cancer in Rhode Island, and Brown Dermatology at Narragansett Town Beach on Friday for the first of seven Skin Check 10 free skin cancer screenings to take place this summer.

Screenings will take place on Friday from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the beach at 39 Boston Neck Road in Narragansett. Senator Reed and other representatives at the event will be available to talk to the media about the importance of skin cancer screenings from 12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.

"Along with using sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more, getting a skin check is the most important thing you can do to protect against skin cancer this summer," said Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH. "Skin cancer can affect people of all skin tones and complexions, which is why all Rhode Islanders should take advantage of these free, convenient skin cancer checks. A cancer screening has the power to save a life."

"This is an important effort, and I want to commend the Partnership to Reduce Cancer in Rhode Island and thank all the coalition partners who have come together to promote sun safety. This initiative helps raise awareness about the steps people can take to prevent skin cancer. These volunteers are setting up shop right by the beach and making it as quick and easy as possible for people to get screened," said Senator Reed, the author of the Sunscreen Innovation Act, a bipartisan bill to improve sunscreen protection, promote sunscreen use, and ensure U.S. consumers have access to the safest, most effective sunscreens available.

All screenings will be performed by dermatologists and dermatology residents associated with Brown Dermatology. The first 100 people at each event will be screened. Those who require follow-up will be referred for dermatology consults.

WJAR is the primary sponsor of the events. Other partners include the Partnership to Reduce Cancer in Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM), Lifespan, Bank Newport, Women & Infants, Women's Dermatologic Society, and the American Cancer Society.

2017 Free Cancer Screenings (the list is also available online at health.ri.gov/cancer/skin):

Friday, July 7 12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.; Narragansett Town Beach 39 Boston Neck Road, Narragansett, RI 02882 Friday, July 14 12:30 p.m. -2:30 p.m.; Easton's Beach (First Beach) 175 Memorial Blvd, Newport, RI 02840 Saturday, July 22 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.; Lifespan Rising Above Cancer 5k Event 185 Asylum Rd, City Park, Warwick (Near the dog park) Sunday, July 30 12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.; Scarborough State Beach 970 Ocean Road, Narragansett, RI 02882 Friday, August 11 12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.; Roger W. Wheeler State Beach (Sand Hill Cove Beach) 100 Sand Hill Cove Road, Narragansett, RI 02882 Sunday, August 13 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; Pawtucket Red Sox, McCoy Stadium 1 Columbus Ave., Pawtucket, RI 02860 (Screening will be outside the main gates to allow community members to attend.) Friday, August 18 12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.East Matunuck State Beach 950 Succotash Road, South Kingstown, RI 02881

The two ways to stay sun safe this summer are prevention (using sunscreen, wearing protective apparel, and staying out of the direct sun) and early detection (getting screened).

Prevention: Apply sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or more with both UVA and UVB protection ("broad spectrum" sunscreen). Make sure to put it on all areas of skin exposed to the sun, including ears, neck, nose, eyelids, fingers and toes, and reapply every two hours. Use water-resistant sunscreen while swimming, boating or exercising; Seek shade, especially when the sun rays are the strongest between 10 AM and 2 PM; Wear protective clothing; Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade the face, head, ears, and neck; Wear wrap-around sunglasses with UV protection where possible; Use caution near water, sand and snow because they reflect and intensify the rays of the sun and can increase your chances of sunburn; Avoid indoor tanning. Early detection: Talk with your primary care provider about seeing a dermatologist and getting screened for skin cancer, especially if you have a family history of it. Get your kids screened. Skin cancer is a growing concern for children, especially among adolescents. Talk with your child's pediatrician about skin cancer screening. If you work outdoors, you should be screened annually by a dermatologist.

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