PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Islanders are able to take advantage of free skin cancer screenings at a number of beaches and parks across the state.

The Rhode Island Department of Health will be offering six skin cancer screenings through the end of August at the following locations.

  • Scarborough State Beach (Narragansett) — July 16 from 1-3 p.m.
  • Roger Wheeler State Beach (Narragansett) — July 22 from 1-3 p.m.
  • Lincoln Woods Freshwater Beach (Lincoln) — July 30 from 1-3 p.m.
  • Easton’s Beach (Newport) — Aug. 12 from 1-3 p.m.
  • East Matunuck State Beach (South Kingstown) — Aug. 19 from 1-3 p.m.
  • Roger Williams Park (Providence) — Aug. 26 from 2:30-4:30 p.m.

“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,” Interim Health Director Utpala Bandy said. “A cancer screening has the power to save a life.”

The first 100 people to attend each event will be screened by dermatologists and dermatology residents with Brown Dermatology, according to the Health Department.

“Getting screened is incredibly important, as one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime,” said John Kawaoka, a dermatology professor at the Warren Alpert Medical School. “Every year at the beaches we find a number of skin cancers, including melanoma, many of which people had no idea that they had.”

The Health Department asks that anyone who wishes to be screened wear either their bathing suit or clothing that can easily be removed.

Rhode Islanders can also protect themselves from skin cancer by wearing sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or higher, wearing protective clothing and staying out of direct sunlight.

Anyone who receives a skin cancer screening that requires a follow-up consultation will be referred to a local dermatologist.

The free skin cancer checks haven’t been offered in recent years due to the pandemic. The last time the screenings were offered in 2019, dermatologists uncovered 49 suspected skin cancers, six of which were believed to melanoma, according to the Partnership to Reduce Cancer in Rhode Island.

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