BEND, Ore. -

As part of a national campaign to encourage early detection and prevention of skin cancer, the St. Charles Cancer Center and local dermatologists are teaming up to offer free screenings Nov. 3 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Cancer Center.

More than 3.5 million skin cancers — including melanoma, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma — are diagnosed annually in the U.S.

 “Any exposure to UV rays, regardless of the time of year or weather conditions, is harmful and can contribute to the development of skin cancer,” said Dr. Stephanie Trautman, of the Bend Dermatology Clinic.

Other contributing factors can include elevation, abundant sunshine, outdoor recreation and tanning.

Oregon’s melanoma death rate was the eighth highest in the U.S. between 2002 and 2006. Deschutes and Crook counties have the second and fourth highest incidence of melanoma per capita in Oregon, according to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

 The Nov. 3 screenings, performed by the Bend Dermatology Clinic and Deschutes Dermatology Center, are available by appointment by calling 541-410-9386. The event is open to both insured and uninsured residents of Central Oregon.