Cancer Educational Mandate for High School Students

Cancer Educational Mandate for High School Students

Written by Will Farmer 
 The second leading cause of death amongst children aged 5 to 14 is cancer.

Early recognition of cancer symptoms may be the difference between life and death (Childhood and Adolescent Cancer Statistics)

Team Up Cancer is advocating congress to create an educational mandate in high schools.   The Educational mandate would require schools to provide students with basic information regarding the various symptoms of cancer. Such symptoms may include:

  • Consistent headaches
  • Excessive sweating
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Seizures
  • Frequent or severe infections

The educational mandate will help adolescents and young adults recognize that some of their daily aches and pains could be early symptoms of cancer, potentially helping patients receive treatment as soon as possible. 
Recognizing these symptoms as early as possible is crucial, as almost every type of cancer has a higher survival rate over five years when discovered early:

  • Colon Cancer: 91% when found early, 11% if it is found late.
  • Ovarian Cancer: 90% when found early, 28% if it is found late.
  • Breast Cancer: 98% Survival rate when found early.
  • Prostate Cancer: 100% Survival rate when found early.
  • (Canary Foundation)
           
In addition to the higher survival rates, the financial burden on families and patients is  reduced for cancer is found early and typically less treatment is needed.
           
The educational mandate would educate students regarding the bone marrow registry. With only 2% of Americans registered as bone marrow donors, the wait for bone marrow transplant may be long and difficult.  Less than half will ever find a match of 70% of all donations come from non-family members. The wait for a transplant can be the difference from life and death. 

The mandate will also provide high schoolers the information regarding organ donations. Organ donations are essential for many kinds of patients, including cancer patients. With 118,000 people currently waiting for an organ transplant, simply adding an organ donor notation to your driver’s license could help save someone’s life.
           
Something as easy as creating awareness around the symptoms of cancer could save money, time, and most importantly, lives. Although simple, this mandate will effectively reduce the cost of treatment as well as the death toll. It will also help to provide information regarding bone marrow and organ donation, further helping those who need donations. We need your help to get this mandate noticed by legislators. Visit www.teamupcancer.org to find out how you can make a difference and help save the lives of patients.

Sources:
“Early Detection Works.” Canary Foundation, www.canaryfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/EarlyDetectionFactSheet.pdf.
Services, Transplant. “How Many Lives Can One Organ Donor Affect?” UPMC HealthBeat, UPMC HealthBeat, 25 Apr. 2019, share.upmc.com/2015/04/the-impact-of-one-organ-donor/.
Ward, Elizabeth, et al. “Childhood and Adolescent Cancer Statistics, 2014.” CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, American Cancer Society, 31 Jan. 2014, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.3322/caac.21219.