Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. More people will get skin cancer this year than breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancer combined. The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention has designated the Friday before Memorial Day as “Don’t Fry Day” to raise awareness of skin cancer prevention and to encourage everyone to protect their skin as they head outdoors to kick off the summer season.

One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetimes. In order to protect yourself from the sun remember to seek shade, wear protective clothing, generously apply sunscreen, do not burn or tan (including tanning beds) and use extra caution near water, snow and sand.

Early detection is key. A way to help catch skin cancer early is to carefully examine your skin monthly. Suspicious lesions or progressive changes in a lesion’s appearance or size should be evaluated promptly by a physician.

Some risk factors for skin cancer include a lighter natural skin color; family history of skin cancer; history of indoor tanning; history of sunburns (especially early in life); and skin that burns, freckles, or reddens easily.

Hannibal Medical Group is hosting skin cancer screenings throughout the region. The screenings are free, however space is limited and appointments are required. To see a full list of screening dates visit medicalgroup.hannibalregional.org.