A deadly and common disease with a simple solution: skin cancer. Certain groups, such as low-income or dark-skinned groups, are particularly susceptible to the development of skin cancer due to lack of access to sun protection or lack of education about sun protection. An educational intervention has been found to increase the likelihood of future sun protection. The hypothesis was that pairing educational and access-based interventions will be even more effective at improving sun protection. The study was conducted at Palo Alto High School, and the impact of the interventions was measured through pre and post-surveys.
My research into sun protection arose from my interest in medicine and public health as well as my love for being outdoors. I used to only apply sunscreen when I was going to soccer practice, on a hike, or to the pool. Junior year, I discovered that, while skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, most people - especially adolescents - do not adequately protect their skin. Over the past two years, I’ve developed a passion for learning about and alerting others to such an underrecognized social justice issue. I hope that, through education and access-based interventions, I can change the daily habits of many students, both within PAUSD and beyond. If applying sunscreen for a few minutes every day could save you a few years of your life, what’s stopping you?