Skin cancer is a concept that everyone has heard of, and possibly, even learned about. Everyone has heard of the risks involved with tanning and sun exposure, but people don’t often take these warnings to heart.
Teenagers are especially a problem. As the media, fashion and clothing lines put golden tans on a pedestal, more and more teens begin to leave the sunscreen at home. It is not difficult to comprehend why warnings of such a seemingly far-fetched condition do not really have an impact on adolescents, or even young adults. What’s important to understand, however, is that your child, sibling or friend is truly putting his or her self at risk. Sun damage and skin conditions often begin at a young age, though they are not usually apparent until later in life. By following some basic safety rules, teenagers can ensure that their bodies remain healthy and beautiful even as they grow older.
Programs like Teen Screen work towards this goal. Supported by the National Melanoma Awareness Project and the John Wayne Cancer Foundation, Teen Screen has branches in California, Illinios, Florida and Pennsylvania. Teen Screen’s original program focused on high school athletic teams, providing lectures and informative meetings on the topic of skin cancer, as well as working to incorporate sunscreen as part of team equipment. Now, Teen Screen has broadened its scope to include other outdoor activities such as outdoor clubs, marching bands and field trips. Its presentations now include children, day camps, junior life guards, scouts and children’s sports.