Cancer Education and Cancer Prevention Education for K-12 Students and Teachers
Background. A health science educational outreach program which began in 1991 and targets K-12 teachers and students has had 15,911 participants consume 60,069 hours of education as of the end of December 2003. The program is called the “Partners in Health Sciences” (PIHS) program. Many educational activities in the PIHS program contain information on both cancer biology and cancer prevention. Methods. All of the cancer-related education offered and consumed in the history of the PIHS program was identified and quantified. Results. In the PIHS program 984 K-12 teachers and 2376 grade 7-12 students consumed 4477 and 3029 hours of cancer-related education, respectively. Conclusions Cancer education encompasses much more than cancer prevention education and includes different aspects of cancer biology from the cell to the organism levels of biological organization. Selected topics in cancer biology can be used to motivate K-12 teachers and students to learn more about basic normal biology while simultaneously learning about cancer. In addition, the psychosocial impact of cancer on the individual, the family, and the community can be used to foster K-12 student interest in studying behavioral science.