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Skin cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in the US, but is highly treatable when detected early.

Skin cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in the United States, and Melanoma is the most serious form of this disease. The good news is that it is highly treatable when detected early. The Utah County Health Department will be holding a free Skin Cancer Screening Clinic on Wednesday, June 17th from 8:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. in Suite 1709 of the Utah County Health and Justice Building (151 S. University Ave, Provo).

The screening takes only takes five to ten minutes, and will be conducted on a first come - first served basis. Doctors and medical personnel will review skin conditions for individuals, looking for abnormalities that might indicate or lead to skin cancer. Referrals will be made for individuals considered to be at risk to local dermatologists. Educational materials regarding protection from the sun and free samples of skin products will also be distributed.

These ABCDEs of melanoma detection will help you to determine if you need to be screened or not:

  • Asymmetry. - One half of the mole does not match the other half.
  • Border. - The borders of the mole are irregular, ragged, blurred, or notched.
  • Color. - The color of the mole is nor the same throughout. There may be different shades of tan, brown, black, red, blue, or white.
  • Diameter. - The mole is larger than 6 millimeters (about inch, roughly the size of a pencil eraser).
  • Evolution. - The mole has been growing or changed its shape or color.

    Know that moles can look suspicious and turn out to be completely harmless, so finding one that has any of the characteristics mentioned above does not necessarily mean it is a type of cancer. Another screening will be held on July 29th at the health department.

    For other upcoming screening events, please visit www.utahcountyonline.org/Dept2/Health/Nursing/CancerSchedule.asp.

    The Utah County Health Department is committed to promoting the health of our community, prevent avoidable disease and injury by monitoring the health of our community, and assuring conditions in which people can be healthy. For information on UCHD programs or services, please visit www.UtahCountyHealth.org or call 801-851-7000. You can also now follow the UCHD on Twitter -- go to www.twitter.com/uchd.