A consortium of interested voluntary organisations including the MHF are calling on the government to teach 'cancer awareness' in schools.
The Department of Education and Skills is currently conducting a review of the National Curriculum. The MHF has joined with The Institute of Cancer Research, the Teenage Cancer Trust, Orchid Cancer, the Caron Keating Foundation, Checkemlads and the Maria Watt Leukaemia Foundation in urging the Department that as part of this review, cancer awareness be included in a PSHE unit called 'Healthy Lifestyles'.
Wendy Gough of the ICR's Everyman campaign who is coordinating the initiative says: 'It is our aim as part of The Healthy School and Every Child Matters Agenda that cancer awareness is specifically mentioned for the guidance of all PSHE teachers throughout the UK.'
She also called on the Department to include a section on the Teachers Resources page for PSHE dealing with the major cancers and with contacts for the charities involved. 'This would then match the present resources available for such subject areas as HIV,AIDS, STDs and the Suzy Lamplugh Trust.'
Wendy went on: 'Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young men from 15-35 and has a 99% cure rate if caught early enough and yet currently young men and boys are still dying of lack of knowledge. I personally know of more than 20 cases where young men have died from testicular cancer alone. This is so unnecessary. Recently I have heard of another two young boys in Middlesbrough, who have died from testicular cancer, aged 16 and 17. Schools in this area do not, it seems, give any form of awareness talk.
'We must empower our young people to recognise early symptoms of cancers, and assist them to be able to react quickly - and with conviction because they know their bodies'
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Page updated on December 1st, 2009