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Skin Cancer AwarenessHere’s something to think about before you put on your swimsuit, bypass the sunscreen and bake yourself in the sun this spring break: It’s estimated that more than 1 million people in the United States are diagnosed every year with skin cancer.

And the best way to avoid this potentially deadly disease is to limit your exposure to the sun.

The University of Tennessee and UT Medical Center have teamed up on a skin cancer awareness project called SkinsolUTions. The event—which is free and open to the public—will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow and Wednesday in Rooms 223-224 of the University Center.

Participants will get information about skin cancer prevention. There also will be an opportunity for participants to see through age-progression computer software how they might look after exposure to significant amounts of UV light.

"It won’t be pretty," said Rosa Thomas, wellness coordinator at the University of Tennessee Student Health Clinic. "In less than two minutes, people will be able to view side-by-side photos of what they look like today compared with what they’d look like after years of exposure to harmful UV rays."

Dr. Stephen Miller, an oncologist at the University of Tennessee Medical Center, said looks aren’t the only issue; skin cancer is deadly.

"The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 10,000 Americans died last year as a result of developing skin cancer," he said. The two-day event is intended "to educate people about the risk factors and dangers associated with melanoma as well as basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. Through this project, we hope to prevent future cases of skin cancer, the most common form of cancer in the United States."

In addition to health care professionals providing information and education, Clinique representatives from Belk’s West Town store will be on hand to offer mini-makeovers and share information about available Clinique products that offer UV protection. Clinique is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and marketers of skin care, makeup, hair and fragrance products.

For more information about the SkinsolUTions event, call the UT Student Health Service at (865) 974-3135 or the UT Medical Center Cancer Institute at (865) 305-8577.