Dealing with Teen Cancer

By Karalynn, age 15, Washington

If you ask any teen what are some of the biggest problems they face you would likely get answers involving boyfriends, parents, friends, or school. But for many teens at WHS, their answer would be coping with their friend having cancer.

Being a teenager can be great. You get to look forward to great parties, hang out with your friends all the time, learn how to drive, and build relationships with people. It's awesome being young, and it seems like we have the entire world laid before our feet. We never think that something bad can happen to us. Cancer? That's just for old people, we think. But it's not. Each year thousands of teens are diagnosed with various types of cancer. It's a devastating truth we all must face.

Dealing with this illness has been especially hard for the students at my school, WHS. Over the past few years, two teens from our school have been diagnosed with cancer. One student, Kevin*, was diagnosed in 2000. Kevin was the type of kid who seemed like he had it all. He was in a band, had good grades, and was on the drama team. He was loved by many people. He went through years of chemo and surgeries before he died on August 5, 2006. It was a hard loss for our town to bear.

Another teen from WHS, Isaac*, was diagnosed with terminal cancer just this year. Terminal cancer means that there is little hope for recovery; it's deadly. He is a junior in high school and has outstanding grades. He accepts his cancer and is still leading a happy life, keeping his friends and his family close.

It's very sad for anyone, especially a teen, to hear about someone close to them getting cancer or to be diagnosed with cancer themselves. It can happen to anyone, so everyone needs to protect himself or herself from something that may be avoidable. Remember that not all cancers are from mistakes people make. Sometimes it just happens. But if you want to raise your chances to prevent yourself or someone you love from getting cancer, try to avoid these: **

Staying Out in the Sun

It's ok, and even fun to be outside, but be sure to wear sunscreen every time, even on a cloudy day. Wearing a hat can also help. Believe it or not, you can still get sunburned on a cloudy day from the UV rays that get through the clouds. Sunburns can increase your risk of skin cancer. And be sure to keep your eye out for irregular moles, as those can also be a sign of skin cancer.


We all know that smoking is bad for you and can greatly increase your risk of many cancers, including lung cancer. It is also very addicting, so don't even try it.

An Unbalanced Diet

Fruits, vegetables, and whole wheat are all very good for you and provide vitamins and other nutrients to keep you healthy. Food with good nutrients can add disease-free years to your life!

Chewing Tobacco

Not only is chewing tobacco gross, but also it is also very bad for you. Numerous cancers can be obtained from chewing tobacco such as tongue, mouth, and lip cancer.

* Name changed for privacy
** Please take these facts and ideas seriously. To get more information, contact your school nurse or your doctor.

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

Sweet Designs Magazine
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