Newswise — Chicago-area dermatologists will offer free skin cancer screenings at the city's most popular beach this summer. The screenings will take place from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 2, at North Avenue Beach.

The event will be held by members of the Chicago Dermatological Society (CDS) and the Women’s Dermatologic Society, in partnership with doctors at Loyola University Health System, the Chicago Park District and other local dermatologists.

"These free screenings directly target people who are enjoying the outdoors. Since sun exposure is a major risk factor for skin cancer development, it is important to educate people on what to look for to detect any potentially worrisome lesions early on,” said Rebecca Tung, MD, division director of Dermatology, Loyola University Health System, and CDS project chair. "This event brings together physicians from all over the Chicago area to share their life-saving expertise with individuals and families who stop by for a quick skin check."

The event will raise awareness about skin cancer and will provide education about sun safety practices. Dermatologists will be available for screenings and to speak with individuals and families who want to learn more about skin health. Activities also will be offered to entertain the entire family during the event.

"When dealing with skin cancer, early detection is critical to cure this disease," Dr. Tung said. "While enjoying a day at the beach, it is best to learn how to play it safe and keep your skin healthy."

Hundreds of individuals were examined at the skin cancer screening held at North Avenue Beach in 2012. Several potential skin cancers and abnormal moles were identified and referred for treatment.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the world. More than 3.5 million cases of basal and squamous cell skin cancer are diagnosed in this country each year, according to the most recent estimates from the American Cancer Society. And 1 in 5 Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer during their lifetimes. Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, will account for more than 76,000 cases of skin cancer in 2014.

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