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NBC 10 Skin Check kicks off Friday

NBC 10 is a sponsor of the annual summer Skin Check program. The goal is to help detect all skin cancers early, but in particular, the melanomas. (WJAR)

Editor's Note: The NBC 10 Skin Check scheduled for Friday, July 7, has been canceled due to inclement weather. Join us at the next Skin Check, scheduled for July 14 at Easton's Beach in Newport.

"Sunscreen is critical,” said Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, Rhode Island's top health official,.

That's how you can help prevent skin cancer. And this applies to all of us, she said.

"Whether you have a lighter complexion or darker, beautiful brown complexion as well, sunscreen is important,” she said. “Skin cancer is possible regardless of your skin color or complexion."

That’s why NBC 10 is a sponsor of the annual summer Skin Check program. The goal is to help detect all skin cancers early, but in particular, the melanomas.

"Melanoma, in general, can be very dangerous,” Dr. John Kawaoka, of Brown Dermatology said. “But if caught early, people do really well.”

The skin check service, he said, proved to be a lifesaver for some during last year’s campaign.

“There was the one person that first day who saw you on the news and said, ‘I've had this spot for a long time. I've been meaning to get it checked and haven't and came on down,’” Kawaoka said. “And that was the one that was a melanoma.”

It was found using a fairly new device called a dermatoscope.

"It uses polarized light and allows us actually to see a little bit down beneath the surface of the skin so we can really see the structures of the spots that we're looking at," explained Kawaoka.

As for the woman who was diagnosed last year, Kawaoka said he continues to see her.

“It's removed and she's good,” he said.

Kawaoka said the woman was one of about a half a dozen diagnosed at this free cancer screening.

While screening is important, protection is crucial.

"With sunscreen, you should make sure it has a SPFof 30 or more,” said Alexander-Scott. “And be able to apply to all areas of your skin particularly those that are exposed to the sun -- ears, nose, neck, hands, as well, and then reapply every two hours."

NBC 10 is partnering with Lifespan, Brown Dermatology, Bank Newport, and the Partnership to Reduce Cancer in Rhode Island to bring you NBC 10 Skin Check -- a series of free skin cancer screenings at local beaches and events throughout the summer.

Friday’s kick off is at Narragansett Town Beach from 12:30 p.m. until 2:30 p.m.

The first 100 people in line will be screened. Be sure to wear a bathing suit.

If you can't make it, we will have more events all summer long.

Click here to learn more.

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