Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center and St. Elizabeth Hospital are partnering to offer a free skin cancer screening from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. May 21 at the hospital’s Medical Plaza II, 1014 W. St. Clare Blvd., Suite 1040, Gonzales.

No appointment is necessary.

The screening is for men and women 18 and older who do not have insurance and have not been screened for skin cancer in the past 12 months.

The event is being held during National Skin Cancer Awareness Month.

Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers, a release from the hospital said. It is estimated that more than 2 million Americans will be diagnosed this year, accounting for nearly half of all U.S. cancers, says the American Cancer Society. And the rates are rising.

Despite common myths, everyone, regardless of skin color, can get skin cancer, the release said. Unfortunately, mortality rates remain disproportionately high in darker-skinned people due to lack of early detection and later-stage diagnosis of the disease.

“Though the statistics are sobering, skin cancer actually is one of the most preventable forms of cancer,” said Renea Duffin, vice president of cancer support and outreach, Mary Bird Perkins. “Many of these cases could be prevented by protecting the skin from excessive sun exposure, using sunscreen, and avoiding tanning beds and sun lamps.”