Paris High student launches ‘Operation: Save Your Skin’ with free skin cancer screening tomorrow

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 1.37.50 PMParis ISD sophomore, Shihka Prakash, is involved in an independent project with Future Problem Solvers entitled “Operation Save Our Skin”.

As part of her project to inform the public about the dangers and risks of skin cancer, she hosted the first free skin cancer screening on Thursday, December 12, at Texas Oncology Paris, located at 3550 NE Loop 286.

“I first became aware of this issue after I saw many of my teenage friends using indoor tanning salons,” Prakash said in her ‘Operation: Save Your Skin campaign’ letter. “I realized that this was not healthy for their skin.”

According to her letter, skin caner is the most common cancer in the United States — with over 2 million cases diagnosed each year — and 1 in 5 Americans and 1 in 3 Texans will develop the disease in their lifetime.

“With this project, I believe that I can make a difference,” she said. “I hold a passionate belief that education and increased awareness regarding the prevention of skin cancer could change the lives of people, not only in my community, but also of those all over the U.S.”

Miss Prakash, the daughter of oncologist Dr. Chris Prakash (an eparisextra columnist) is also Miss Teen Paris.

As part of her project, Miss Prakash plans to do the following:

– Educate the community about skin cancer prevention using pamphlets, poster boards and advertisement.

– Present her project to schools, local organizations and at numerous community events.

– Provide local schools with UV monitors to take precautions on high UV days.

– Raise funds for sun shade structures to be constructed over school play areas and picnic areas.

– Hold an annual skin cancer screening event for the community.

– Involve local health care providers in raising awareness of skin cancer.

– Provide an informational booth center at the local city pool.

– Collaborate with local retail malls and health businesses in providing and promoting sunscreen products and sun protective clothing wear, along with informational pamphlets to customers.

– Talk to the city council about having an annual ‘Save Your Skin Day’ for the community.

– Discuss risks of tanning with local tanning salons.

– Incorporate ‘skin cancer education and prevention’ in community schools’ curriculums.

– Make an informational DVD and present it to various schools.

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