Longhorns Promote Skin Cancer Prevention

SCS1Rachel DeSantis, Keeton Schenck, Nicole Wong, Valerie Vines, Kelsey Ball and Jeff Conley volunteer at the skin cancer screening event in the Student Activity Center (SAC) Ballroom.

Making skin cancer prevention a priority on the Forty Acres, Texas 4000 offered free skin cancer screenings to 300 students, faculty and staff on campus in late March. The organization’s mission is to raise funds for cancer research, while educating the community about prevention.

“It may not be a top priority for students to go get their skin checked but having it free and on campus makes it accessible. We want to help Longhorns take charge of their health in a preventive way,” said sophomore, chemical engineering major Valerie Vines.

SCS2Christy Goldberg, Valerie Vines, Steven Aviles, Alex Herbig, Lauren Nix, Madison Weigand, Kelsey Ball and Bailey Anderson during a training event in November.

Vines and nearly 80 fellow Texas 4000 members will ride their bicycles 4,500 miles from Austin to Anchorage this summer. During this ride, the Longhorns visit schools, churches and community centers to give a 30-minute presentation about their cause. Last year, they raised nearly $600,000 for cancer research.

“We’re not just a fitness organization ― we are trying engage the community. We exist to develop student leaders in the fight against cancer,” added Vines.

The group partnered with University Health Services (UHS) to provide the screenings with three physicians during a six-hour period.

“We’re so proud to be part of this event. Any time we can contribute to the cause and support research efforts as a preventive healthcare entity on campus, we’re pleased to be a part of that,” explained UHS Medical Director Dr. David Vander Straten.

SCS3Drs. David Vander Straten and Stephen Blair screen students in the SAC.

Vander Straten says that if detected early, skin cancer can be treated well. UHS offers these tips:

The Bad Kind of Burnt Orange: There is no such thing as a healthy suntan. Any change in your natural skin color indicates damage.

Outsmart the Sun: The sun’s rays are strongest 10 a.m.–2 p.m. You can get sunburnt on a cloudy day.

Seek Sun Protection: Wear a hat, sunglasses and breathable long sleeves/pants.

But I Love Getting a Tan!: Sun lovers who want a tan without the risk of harmful rays may consider self-tanners or spray tan.

Check out more Healthyhorns tips about sunburn and sun safety.

The original article can be found here.