Are You at Risk for Skin Cancer?

Are you at risk of skin cancer?
1. The rate of skin cancer among adolescents is growing rapidly. It is believed that 1 in 5 Americans
will get skin cancer at some point during their lives. Sunburn at a young age doubles an
individual’s risk for skin cancer. This assessment will be used to assess an individual’s risk of skin
2. This assessment is designed for high school students under the age of 19. It is geared towards
both males and females. Any student that is currently in grade 9 up to grade 12 may participate
in this assessment. A portion of this assessment will question the individual’s utilization of
tanning beds, since indoor tanning is the cause of 170,000 annual skin cancer cases.
3. The rating scale will be used to motivate the individual to take proper precautions when
exposed to the sun. If a student finds that they are at risk of skin cancer, they will hopefully feel
compelled to change their habits regarding tanning and sun exposure. This assessment will offer
an instant decision regarding how likely the individual is to be diagnosed with skin cancer
regarding their current behaviors.
4. I will use this rating scale to evaluate whether or not students are putting themselves at risk for
skin cancer. If the participant finds that they answer “always” to many of the questions in the
first section or “never” to many questions in the second section, it may open their eyes to their
potential risk. This assessment will focus on utilization of tanning beds, not wearing sunscreen,
being tan for events such as prom, knowing the signs and symptoms of skin cancer, amount of
exposure to the sun, and protecting themselves when exposed to the sun.
5. The rating scale will ask questions that the individual answers with “always” for 4 points, “often”
for 3 points, “rarely” for 2 points, and “never” for 1 point in the first section. In the second
section, the individual will answer “always” for 1 point, “often” for 2 points, “rarely” for 3
points, and “never” for 4 points. At the conclusion of the survey, the participant will add up their
total score from every question. The higher the score, the higher the risk the individual has for
getting skin cancer.
6. This assessment will be given during homeroom at a high school. Any student of any age may
participate. No prior knowledge is needed on the subject; the student just has to answer each
question truthfully to obtain their score. The instructor should have knowledge on the subject in
case students have questions afterwards. The instructor should also be capable of directing the
students to access information on the subject, such as the Skin Cancer Foundation or Sun Aware
7. The information obtained from this assessment is pertinent both to the individual as well as the
administration. This assessment is used to create awareness of the student on how likely they
are to get skin cancer if they continue with their current behaviors. We will collect the
assessments after administering to see how many students have a high risk. This research is
formative because it may urge high schools to incorporate a program teaching students the risks
of sun exposure. If a program is implemented, this assessment could be considered a pre-test.
Write the number pertaining to your answer. Add up your score at the bottom to find your risk for
skin cancer:
Section One:
Always (4)
Often (3)
Rarely (2)
Never (1)
You go indoor tanning more than 2 times per month ________
You do not feel the need for sunscreen ________
You tan before big events such as prom, etc. ________
You work outside for long periods of time ________
You find that you get sunburn after only a short amount of time in the sun ________
 Section One Total: ________
Section 2:
Always (1)
Often (2)
Rarely (3)
Never (4)
You visit a dermatologist annually for a skin exam ________
You monitor yourself for changes in moles or spots on your skin ________
You know the signs and symptoms of skin cancer and look for them on yourself ________
You know and remember that having family members with skin cancer increases your risk
You wear protective clothing when in the sun such as a hat, UV protectant shirt, sunglasses, etc.
 Section Two Total: ________
 Combined Total: ________
10 or less: Great job! You take the proper precautions when exposed to the sun and you are at low risk
for skin cancer.
11-19: For the most part, you have a low risk for skin cancer. You should consider going the extra mile to
ensure that your body stays healthy for a long time! Visit the Skin Cancer Foundation’s website for tips
on how to stay protected in the sun.
20-29: You have a moderate risk for skin cancer. Just because you don’t always take part in activities
that expose you to the sun doesn’t mean that you aren’t at risk! Consider visiting the Skin Cancer
Foundation’s website for more information and to learn how to stay protected.
30-40: You have a very high risk for skin cancer. We encourage you to look into more information on
skin cancer by visiting the Skin Cancer Foundation or Sun Aware websites. Remember, a tan is a sign of
DNA damage that is irreversible! If you take control now, you can lower your risk and stay healthy.
"Skin Cancer." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 06 June 2012. Web.
01 May 2013. <>.
"Skin Cancer Facts." Skin Cancer Facts. Skin Cancer Foundation, 12 Feb. 2013. Web. 01 May 2013.