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You’re invited to a free skin cancer screening and here’s why doctors say you should go

Business & Money

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IDAHO FALLS – It’s Melanoma Monday at High Valley Dermatology in Idaho Falls and they’re inviting you to come in for a free skin cancer screening.

The screening is part of their kickoff for Melanoma awareness month going on throughout the month of May.

Brandon Miner, a doctor at the clinic, tells they are offering free screenings to anyone who comes into the clinic until 5 p.m. Monday.

“There’s no obligation to return to our office. You’re not committed as a patient here. It’s just a free screening,” Miner says. “Most people that have skin cancer are not aware they have skin cancer. You can just be walking along enjoying yourself thinking nothing is wrong with you and actually have skin cancer growing. So that’s why people should come in.”

Miner says most people don’t know the warning signs when it comes to skin cancer. People should be wary of any spots on the skin that are new or rapidly changing, says Miner.

“Even if it’s a spot you’ve always had, if it’s (rapidly) changed after you’ve had it for 10 or 40 years, whatever the case, that’s a warning sign. Obviously, if you’ve grown up in higher elevations (like Idaho or Utah) you’re at higher risk just because of the intensity of the UV (rays) here,” he says.

Rapid changes can include color or size and should be considered abnormal until proven otherwise, Miner says.

Susan Miles, a product consultant at the screening, says sunscreen should be applied daily all year round to prevent skin damage. One of the biggest fallacies, according to Miles, is that applying sunscreen is only necessary if you’re outside for long periods of time or if it’s hot. Even long-term exposure to the screens on your devices can be damaging, she says.

The screening takes about five minutes and every person who comes in walks away with a sample of skin care products. As part of the event, you can enter into four different drawings for a chance to win several hundred dollars worth of skin care products. The drawing will happen at 5 p.m. You do not have to be present to win.

If you can’t make it to Monday’s screening, there will be screenings offered throughout the month by select appointments only. You can call to see if any slots are available at (208) 525-4888.

“It’s a good time to make yourself aware of the dangers of unprotected UV exposure. In Idaho, we’re always in the top five for melanoma death rate in the United States. Part of that is because we recreate outside and we work outside a lot. So it’s good to make yourself aware and get in some good sun protection habits,” says Miner.

High Valley Dermatology is located at 2085 Providence Way in Idaho Falls. Its hours of operation are 8:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Monday through Thursday and the first Friday of every month.