Siouxland students bring awareness to dangers of skin cancer

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — 13 teams of Siouxland students presented their 30-second video PSA projects Friday morning, breaking down the preventable risk factors that cause skin cancer.

“We chose a target audience and our group chose elementary students and we had to choose, ‘Okay what message are we going to incorporate, what’s the message we’re going to have?'” said Tounjian.

Catrina Tounjian is a senior at North Highschool. She plans on going to nursing school after graduation and said, her career plans are partially the reason she felt so passionate in teaching the younger generation about melanoma.

“It really helped me realize that there’s so much more we can educate people on and there’s so many different aspects of medicine that are unknown to people.” Tounjian said.

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“Skin cancer and melanoma are one of the top cancer diagnoses we see in our tri state region and unfortunately the numbers are actually going up.” Christie Finnegan, with June E. Nylen Cancer Center, said.

Finnegan said one in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the time they are 70 years old.

“If you have 3 or more sunburns, your risk of skin cancer actually doubles,” Finnegan said. “It’s preventable though, and that’s what were trying to do is raise awareness.”

And specifically to the younger generation in hopes of slowing down the trend.

“It’s very important to put your sunscreen on and we want younger generations to know that.”

“Skin cancer is something a lot of us hear about and a lot of us know, yeah we wear sunscreen. Tounjian said. “But I guess we never really take into consideration how important and how influential it can be on your life, so having these PSA’s to educate younger groups like elementary and middle school students, maybe they can start earlier in life and choose healthy lifestyle choices.”

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