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'Melanoma Monday' to raise skin cancer awareness

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HOUSTON – It’s the first Monday of May which also means it’s National Melanoma Monday. Created by the American Academy of Dermatology, the day is all about raising awareness of skin cancer and how it can be caught in its early stages.

A melanoma screening is a simple visual inspection of the skin by a medical professional and only takes about 10 minutes.

Here's how the screenings work:

The screenings begin with a simple pre-screening form which asks the individual a bit about their family history, sun exposure experience, tanning bed usage, and severity of past sun burns. 

VIDEO: Picking the right sunscreen

After filling out the form, each person is led into a private screening room and joined by a doctor. It is up to the person being screened how much of their skin is checked and in what areas. The entire process takes less than ten minutes and at the end of it doctors are able to give each person a clean bill of skin health or let them know specifically what areas need further testing and why.

VIDEO: Ryan Korsgard's melanoma message 

Several health organizations are hosting free screenings for the public across the Houston area during the month of May.

Click here to find a location to get a screening.

Here are links to other helpful resources:

How to be a skin cancer hero

Body mole map

How to spot skin cancer