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July 17, 2014

"Put sunscreen on" is the mantra in many homes during the summer -- and for good reason. The American Cancer Society estimates that 76,100 cases of melanoma, the most serious form of skin caner, will be diagnosed nationwide in 2014. New Jersey alone is expected to see 2,590 cases this year.

Early diagnosis is key to surviving the disease. The state Department of Health is promoting an initiative at parks and beaches this summer to remind residents to take precautions. Called “Choose Your Cover,” it will provide free cancer screenings at six Jersey Shore beaches this Saturday, as well as information and complimentary sunscreen.

The six cancer-screening events will be held between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Belmar Beach, Bradley Beach, Sea Bright Municipal Beach, Brick Beach III, Island Beach State Park, and Ship Bottom. There will be other events through the middle of August, including stops at Perth Amboy, Sea Isle City, Long Branch, Ventnor, Phillipsburg, Brigatine, Belvidere, Whippany, and the Middlesex Municipal Pool.

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