High school student develops soap to treat skin cancer

A 14-year high school student won a major award for developing a soap that treats skin cancer, which affects all people, including Blacks.

Heman Bekele, a freshman at Woodson High School in Northern Virginia, spent his summer break working to cure skin cancer.

Bekele was named “America’s Top Young Scientist†for creating a bar of soap designed to fight low-grade skin cancer.

“I wanted to try to find a way for the entire world to be able to have an equitable and accessible form of skin cancer treatment,†Bekele said.

The soap is called skin cancer-treating soap, or SCTS for short. The soap replenishes the skin with dendritic cells, which help protect the skin and fight cancer. Bekele said that after getting a prescription, the soap can be applied to the skin every few days, and improvement occurs readily.

Before making the soap, he contacted University of Virginia professors to help with research. 

After developing the soap, Bekele entered Discovery Education’s 3M Young Scientist Challenge in St. Paul, Minnesota, to compete. 

Out of nine students, Bekele won the top prize of $25,000.