MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The American Academy of Dermatology sets aside the first Monday of May each year to raise awareness to the dangers of skin cancer, specifically melanoma.

Three different Allina Health Clinics are offering free skin screenings Monday, and WCCO’s Katie Steiner reports lots of people were coming in and out of the clinic to get their skin checked.

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The point of “Melanoma Monday” is to make people think about skin cancer.

“The earlier we catch skin cancer, the easier it is to treat,” Dr. Elizabeth Farhat said. “If caught early, melanoma is 98% curable, versus in later stages, (where) it can be deadly.”

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Minnesotans have the third highest rate of melanoma in the entire country.

Allina has been doing these free screenings for years, but they got so popular, the clinic decided to go by appointment only. This is the first year you actually needed to make an appointment. If you are interested in getting checked for free next year, mark your calendar to make that appointment.

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Dermatologists recommend you get checked once a year.

Katie Steiner