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A survey of testicular cancer education provision within a sample of Welsh secondary schools

Williamson, Keren and Hall, S. 2006. A survey of testicular cancer education provision within a sample of Welsh secondary schools. Presented at: 4th International Conference on adolescent cancer, London, UK, 30 - 31 Mar 2006.

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Introduction Germ cell cancers of the testes represent the most common malignancy of young men aged between 15 and 35 years [1,2]. There is evidence of a marked increase in incidence of these tumours in the 15 – 19 year age group over recent years. Good prognostic factors for effective therapy, reduced morbidity and optimal cure rate include early detection of tumours [3,4]. It would follow then that educating young people of secondary school age on the risks, detection and treatment of testicular cancer could help in the clinical diagnosis of the disease at an earlier stage, thereby reducing the risk of mortality in this high risk group. The main aims of this study were to determine the level and content of testicular cancer education provision within a Welsh local education authority. In addition, the views of those teachers charged with delivering this cancer education were sought to establish the level of satisfaction of this group with that provision. Methodology The total population of eighteen, mixed and single sex, secondary schools within a specified local education authority (LEA) was invited to participate in the study with 100% acceptance. Semi-structured, telephone interviews were conducted with teachers identified as having responsibility for delivering the personal and social education (PSE) aspects of the curriculum. Closed questions were asked for collection of demographic data and general information relating to the provision of cancer education and testicular cancer education in particular. In addition, some open questions were asked in order to establish the views and opinions of teachers with regards to their level of satisfaction with that provision. It was found that the majority of schools (67%; n=13) do provide background information relating to the presenting signs and symptoms of testicular cancer however, only 3 schools included discussion on treatment options and outcomes Of these schools, all (n=13) utilised PSE teaching sessions within year 10 (14-15 year old pupils), with the majority using teaching staff for the delivery of the subject area. 23% (n=3) of the schools used school nurses or other health care professionals for the education. The majority of schools expressed satisfaction with their current provision of testicular cancer education. 83% (n=15) of all teachers interviewed were of the opinion that teachers did not have sufficient knowledge and training to provide this education. All schools (n=18) agreed that testicular cancer education and awareness was an important issue and should be discussed with pupils, this despite 5 schools admitting to not including it within their curriculum. Conclusion There was found to be a consensus that issues relating to testicular cancer education and awareness were important to the health and well being of young men. All participants agreed that the subject should be included within the curricula of secondary schools but there were differing opinions as to the age at which it should be delivered. Although there was evidence of satisfaction with the current level of provision among some schools, the majority of participants believed that health care professionals would be best placed to deliver the required information to pupils.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer)
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:59

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