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Teens, Cancer and Community

More than 73% of teens have been touched by cancer yet teens are often an overlooked audience, especially regarding cancer prevention and dealing with the social and emotional needs brought about by cancer. In Washington State, 25% of families with a cancer diagnosis are home to children under the age of 18. In the family, uncertainty and change -- brought about by a cancer diagnosis -- can result in feelings of anxiety, fear of death, loneliness, poor self-concept, anger, resentment and guilt.

We have found that teens are very receptive to cancer-related programs in their own school setting. Since 2005 Gilda’s Club Seattle has reached more than 31,000 teens in high schools with its "Cancer Education for Teens" (CET) program – unique in Washington State.

The 50-minute lively and engrossing power point presentation is an interactive opportunity for teens to learn about cancers that should be of concern to them, cancer prevention, how exercise and nutrition equate with cancer risk reduction, the psychosocial issues around cancer, and the importance of social and emotional support. There is no high school curriculum offering a program like this and it has been identified as an unmet need. We work with health education teachers to schedule presentations in advance of each semester. If you are interested in presenting Cancer Education for Teens in your high school please contact Sally Benson by email or call the Clubhouse at 206-709-1400 or (toll free) 1-866-200-2383.

Did You Know?

“The Swedish Cancer Institute is strongly supportive of the mission of Gilda's Club. We feel Gilda's Club is an important asset in this community.”

Albert B. Einstein Jr., MD
Executive Director of Oncology Services, Swedish Cancer Institute

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