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It's Melanoma Monday. Do you know how your dermis is doing?

Every day, week and month seems to have some special cause associated with it in this country. Did you know that yesterday was Star Wars Day? We're sure it came as a surprise to some and was completely missed by others, but it was May the 4th (May the fourth be with you).

Today, we wish you Happy Melanoma Monday. There likely are no major festivities being planned to mark this special day. Melanoma being skin cancer, it's hardly worth celebrating. It is, however, worth being aware of, which is why the American Academy of Dermatology has designated this first Monday of May as the kickoff to a whole month of awareness raising and skin cancer prevention efforts.

For people who live in the California sun, it's something worth being keenly aware of. According to information provided by the online magazine Tech Times, one person dies of melanoma every hour in the United States. A full 20 percent of us Americans will receive a diagnosis of skin cancer during our lives.

In most instances, the disease is treatable. But there are cases that can leave victims completely disabled and unable to work. That's why, in its most severe forms, a person with melanoma may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income benefits.

As part of its prevention efforts, the AAD has arranged to provide people with free skin cancer screenings in some communities. You can go to the group's website at www.aad.org to learn more about skin cancer, find a possible free screening site or find a dermatologist if you have reason to be concerned. 

Source: Tech Times, "Melanoma Monday kicks off month-long Skin Cancer Awareness Month with events, free screenings," Michael McEnaney, May 5, 2014

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