Title

Cancer Happens: Impacting Teens for Life

First Presenter's Institution

Cancer Pathways

Second Presenter's Institution

NA

Third Presenter's Institution

NA

Fourth Presenter's Institution

NA

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Strand #1

Mental & Physical Health

Relevance

In 2017, there will be an estimated 1,688,780 new cancer cases diagnosed in the United States and at least a third of all cancer cases are preventable by leading a healthy lifestyle (American Cancer Society). This program is imperative for educators working with youth who have an increased risk for obesity, drug/alcohol abuse, and tobacco use which are all cancer risk factors. Cancer Happens Teen Education can help guide teens in making better decisions that will lower their chances of developing a cancer diagnosis at some point during their lifetime.

Brief Program Description

Cancer Happens is a FREE e-learning program that provides cancer prevention and health promotion strategies for middle and high school students. The course provides a basic understanding of cancer, risk factors (including tobacco use, nutrition and exercise, sun safety, and HPV), and coping skills. Participants will learn how to use curricula materials and web-resources, as well as implement the program effectively in their classroom and/or community.

Summary

Cancer Happens Teen Education by Cancer Pathways is an interactive, evidence-based, and engaging cancer curriculum delivered in the middle and high school setting. The program includes standards-based lesson plans, engaging videos, and activities to develop coping skills and help reduce our youths risk of a cancer diagnosis someday. Cancer risk factors relevant to teens include tobacco use, e-cigarettes, marijuana, sun exposure, HPV, poor diet and lack of physical exercise. Cancer Happens also explores communication skills and coping strategies for when those we care about have a cancer diagnosis. According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), 25% of cancer survivors in the U.S. have at least one school-aged child at home.

Cancer Happens began as a face-to-face program delivered by Health Educators in 2005 and has served more than 72,000 students nationwide. The program originated in Seattle, WA and has expanded into multiple states. The high schools are the most inclusive and cost-effective method to reach large numbers of youth with this important information. However, our program is available in a variety of other forums, such as churches, community centers, parent groups, and more. The goal of Cancer Happens is to empower our youth to create lifelong healthy habits, by raising awareness about cancer risk reduction and reducing cancer incidence rates long term.

I will be presenting with an interactive PowerPoint presentation, which includes video(s), discussion, and opportunities for Q&A. I will also be showing a preview of our e-learning tool and allow audience to participate.

Evidence

Our cancer curriculum is an interactive and evidence-based instruction that aligns with the National Health Education Standards. Participants have received pre and post-tests to measure effectiveness of program delivery and student understanding. Not only have we found a significant increase in basic cancer knowledge, additionally over 90% of participants report a desire to change at least 1-2 cancer risk behaviors, such as quitting smoking (or never start), sun-protection, and diet changes. Post-presentation surveys indicate that 77% of students are affected by cancer (by a family member, friend or personal diagnosis). Students comment, repeatedly, that Cancer Happens affords them their very first opportunity to discuss cancer openly. Cancer education for all youth has been identified as an unmet need.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Jana Mastrogiovanni, Program Manager and Health Educator, is a licensed mental health counselor (LPC) whose specialty is working with individuals and families coping with a life-threatening disease. She is a nationally certified alcohol and drug counselor as well as a trained tobacco cessation specialist. She recently trained with the National Cancer Institute to provide cancer education and information to patients, caregivers and health professionals. She has developed and implemented educational programs for cancer prevention as well as alcohol and drug awareness and early intervention.

Keyword Descriptors

teen, cancer, health, risk factors, tobacco, nutrition, HPV, obesity, prevention, disease

Presentation Year

2018

Start Date

3-6-2018 4:00 PM

End Date

3-6-2018 5:30 PM

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Mar 6th, 4:00 PM Mar 6th, 5:30 PM

Cancer Happens: Impacting Teens for Life

Cancer Happens is a FREE e-learning program that provides cancer prevention and health promotion strategies for middle and high school students. The course provides a basic understanding of cancer, risk factors (including tobacco use, nutrition and exercise, sun safety, and HPV), and coping skills. Participants will learn how to use curricula materials and web-resources, as well as implement the program effectively in their classroom and/or community.