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Eighteen physicians from the University of Utah's dermatology department are screening up to 300 Salt Lake City firefighters this week for skin cancer.

The screenings began Tuesday at the Salt Lake City Public Safety Building at 475 S. 300 E. Utah is No. 1 in the nation for the occurrence of melanoma due to its elevation, the ethnic background of much of the population and the time spent outdoors. And firefighters can have up to an 80 percent increased risk compared to the general population, the U. said.

Each firefighter will receive informational materials, a supply of sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat.

The U. said several local firefighters have already had experiences with skin cancer, noting Captain John Maddux had a case of melanoma that spread to his lymph nodes. He fought the disease and its reoccurrence for seven years and he has been cancer free since 2013.

Assistant Chief Clair Baldwin, a firefighter since 1982, has had seven squamous cell carcinomas and one basal cell carcinoma — skin cancers that leave scarring and can cause disfiguration when left untreated — on his face or neck, the U. said.

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