Oxford Hills High School hosts tan-free prom

SOUTH PARIS, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Each year, there are more new cases of skin cancer than breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers combined. Studies show that just one childhood sunburn can double your chances for skin cancer. That has a lot of people concerned about the risks teens take when they tan.

With your parent's permission, you can tan at 14-years-old in Maine.

According to the Melanoma Foundation New England, 2.3 million teens visit a tanning salon at least once a year in this country. Studies show that even 1 indoor tanning session increases the risk for Melanoma by 20%.

Chuck Martin, a Science teacher at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, also has been diagnosed with malignant melanoma. He's six years cancer-free, but he wants to make sure the students he sees every day don't have to go through what he did.

Martin applied for a grant and won money to install shades at the sports fields so athletes aren't constantly exposed to sunlight. The grant also paid for an interactive display that tells kids what their risk of UV exposure is for the day.

Martin's grant also paid for his capstone achievement this year - a tan-free prom. The money brought in a booth where teens could be screened for skin cancer and helped introduce a pledge program - where prom-bound students could vow to stay out of tanning booths.

At last count, 111 students had signed the pledge. 180 tickets for prom have been sold.

When it comes to protecting yourself from skin cancer, dermatologists recommend applying broad spectrum sunscreen daily. Here is a guide to choosing the right sunscreen: http://www.ewg.org/2013sunscreen/


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