TV networks promote global cancer awareness

Amy Miyashiro
Amy Miyashiro

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - It's a worldwide effort to bring awareness to cancer. All three TV networks are came together to bring you a very special night on Friday in an unprecedented campaign to stop the deadly disease.

Here at home, skin cancer survivors tell their story of how they got it and what they're doing now to prevent it from happening again.

Dermatologists say people should be aware of certain myths that may help prevent skin cancer. two survivors say their lives have changed since they found out they had it and they're fully aware of the myths.

Two people; two skin cancer survivors.  They're a growing number of people throughout Hawaii who have the scars to prove it.

"You can't be totally paranoid about skin and you can't be totally paranoid about what skin problems will occur," said Amy Miyashiro, a skin cancer survivor. "They will occur, they may or may not occur, but you need to be vigilant about your health."

1. Only fair-skinned people get it.

2. Only burns lead to it.

3. Clothes protect against the sun.

4.  It's in your genes.

These are all myths most dermatologists warn people about.

"It didn't surprise me one bit because my father has severe skin cancer, my brother, my sister, my mom and now me," said Ray Hollowell, a skin cancer survivor.

Hollowell got skin cancer twice. He spends a lot of time in the sun, so he thinks that's how he got it.

Miyashiro went in to get a regular check-up, but her dermatologist found skin cancer on her forehead.

"I have a better awareness of little ones, making sure they're protected, because this basil cell carcinomas something, it was probably there, and formed when I was a child," she said.

Dr. John Boyer says skin cancer affects every race.

"No one is immune and in my practice, I've seen dark, African-Americans, Samoans, Polynesians, Tongans with skin cancer as well," he said.

Dr. Boyer feels whatever the myth, people need to make an effort to protect themselves from the sun.

Of all the myths about skin cancer, Dr. Boyer feels the one about tanning beds not being harmful is the worst.  He says some of the rays are even more harmful than the sun.