The independent student media site of West Linn High School

wlhsNOW

The independent student media site of West Linn High School

wlhsNOW

The independent student media site of West Linn High School

wlhsNOW

Skin Cancer Awareness – How to Prevent Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer Awareness - How to Prevent Skin Cancer

More people have had skin cancer in the past three decades in America than all other forms of cancer combined, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States today.  With summer approaching, extra precautions should be taken to protect and prevent skin cancer.

The Skin Cancer Foundtation has many preventative guidelines listed on their website, http://www.skincancer.org/prevention, for people to educate themselves on preventing skin cancer. It reported that wearing SPF 15 or higher on a daily basis and to avoid UV tanning booths/beds are the two easiest ways to protect yourself.

Other precautions include seeking shade in the afternoon, asking for thorough skin examinations at your physician’s office and educating yourself on warning signs of skin cancer. Warning signs may include unusually sore lumps, blemishes, and new/irregular moles.

“A mole can be present at birth, or it can appear during childhood or young adulthood. New moles that appear later in life should be checked by a doctor,” according to the American Cancer Society. It is crucial to examine the skin frequently and check for any changes in moles or new moles. Changes include differences of size, shape, or coloring. These signs suggest a possibility of melanoma developing.

The American Cancer Society recommends using their ABCDE rule as a guide when examining the skin.

  • A is for Asymmetry: Two sides of the mole or birthmark are not identical.

  • B is for Border: The edges around the mole or birthmark are or have become irregular, ragged, notched, or blurred.

  • C is for Color: The color is not consistent throughout and include shades of brown or black, or sometimes with patches of pink, red, white, or blue.

  • D is for Diameter: The mole or birthmark is larger than 6 millimeters across (about ¼ inch – the size of a pencil eraser), although melanoma spots can be smaller than this.

  • E is for Evolving: The mole or birthmark is changing in size, shape, or color.

*Source: The American Cancer Society

There are many ways to become involved in the fight against Skin Cancer. Donations can be made towards the cause through the American Cancer Society and The Skin Cancer Foundation. Educating oneself, friends and family members, on ways to prevent skin cancer is another way to become involved.

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About the Contributor
Sarah Oliveras
Sarah Oliveras, Reporter

Going from a guitar playing, Taylor Swift loving girl, to one day representing and fighting for America’s freedom, Sarah Oliveras, freshman, loves new adventures and giving back. She is inspired by those around her and one day hopes to inspire others as well.

“I think when people are inspired by another, they feel better about themselves and what they do,”Oliveras said. “All I really want to do is help people.”

Oliveras has moved all over the country and even lived in Puerto Rico for two years. From Seattle to Virginia, then to Puerto Rico, Washington D.C., and finally Oregon, Oliveras has experienced many different cultures and different ways of life.

“You can walk down the streets of Puerto Rico and hold baby animals,”  Oliveras said.  “I even learned how to climb bamboo before learning to climb a tree.”

Even though she has traveled all around the world with her family — Heather, her mother, an emergency room nurse, her 12-year old younger brother, Jon, and Robert, her father, who is in the Army as a colonel — Oliveras has always wanted to travel to Japan.

“I want to travel to Japan because I have never been exposed to Asian culture,” Oliveras said. In 20 years Oliveras sees herself in, “some foreign country.” “ I want to travel the world,” she said.

Along with new adventures, Oliveras also likes to try new things. In her free time, she likes to swim and go running. When she hurt her knee three years ago, inspired by her love for Taylor Swift, she decided to pick up her guitar to pass the time. Since then she has enjoyed playing cords and creating her own music. Her favorite thing about playing the guitar is the creativity it brings when writing original songs and music.

One of her favorite quotes is from Picasso, “Everything you imagine is real.” It inspires her to show her creativity, and “think outside the box.”

Oliveras‘s true role model in her life is her father, with whom she is very close. With his work in the army, and his various missions to Iraq helping people all around the world, he inspires Oliveras to give back and appreciate what is given to her.  With her dad as her primary inspiration, Oliveras enjoys helping people and various charities. She hopes to inform and inspire people about the dangers of teen suicide and inspire them toward a positive body image. She hopes to do this by letting people know that they are not alone and there are always people to help. Also inspired by her dad, she wishes to attend an Air Force college  after high school, and later enter active service.

“I want to join the Air Force because I want to be able to have a say about what goes on in the world,” Oliveras said.

Not only does she look up to her parents but also famous figures such as Helen Keller and Swift.

“I look up to them because they do not complain about the tough situations that they face, they just get through it, ” Oliveras said.

From the diversity of the places she has lived,  people she has met along the way, and most importantly with her dad’s influence,  these past experiences have shaped Oliveras into the adventure-seeking, caring person, who is always trying to lend a helping hand.

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Skin Cancer Awareness – How to Prevent Skin Cancer