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SAN DIEGO – Lifeguards, firefighters and police officers who spend a lot of time out in the sun are being encouraged to take advantage of free skin cancer screenings now that summer is in full swing.

As part of Scripps Health’s ongoing community benefit program, dermatologists will go to San Diego Lifeguard Headquarters on Mission Bay on Monday to screen first responders. Scripps Health has provided the free service for more than a decade.

Lifeguards, in particular are subject to overexposure to the sun, because they can’t avoid being outdoors at midday, when the sun’s rays are the strongest.

Dermatologists at Scripps Health check for melanoma as well as basal cell and squamous cell cancers. Malignant melanoma is the most dangerous of the three and the most difficult to treat, so early diagnosis and treatment is very important, according to Scripps Health.

Basal and squamous cell skin cancers are more common and treatment for both is very effective.