SOMERVILLE, NJ - The Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Morris-Somerset Regional Chronic Disease Coalition are encouraging residents to play it safe and protect themselves from the harmful rays of the sun beginning this season and throughout the year.

The freeholders issued a proclamation declaring May as Skin Cancer Awareness month at its most recent meeting.

“Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers, and anyone can get skin cancer regardless of skin color or age, so it is vital that we continue to educate people and raise awareness about this disease,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Peter S. Palmer, public health and safety liaison.

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“We also encourage all residents, especially young people, to avoid artificial tanning, to conduct self-exams, know your spots (visitwww.aad.org/public/spot-skin-cancer/programs/screenings) and get regular skin checkups by healthcare professionals,” he said. “This form of cancer is highly treatable when caught early.”

The RCDC is encouraging skin awareness through a number of initiatives, programs and screenings throughout both counties.  An interactive May skin awareness calendar with sun safety tips, screening locations and partner resources is available athttp://bit.ly/MelanomaMonth Dates with an orange star open to tips on how to protect yourself and your family as well as screening information and available resources. 

An educational table with skin cancer resources, screening information and hard copies of the calendar will be in the lobby of theSomerset County Administration Building at 20 Grove St., Somerville, throughout the month of May.