About This Lesson Plan

SUBJECT
Health and Safety, Disease and Illness, Challenges and Overcoming Obstacles

GRADE
9-12

DURATION
40 Mins

COLLECTION
Lessons for Grades 9-12

Lesson 2: Cancer Warriors

Lead a class discussion about the different professionals involved in the fight against cancer.

OBJECTIVE
Students will complete research activities to help them understand the roles that professionals play in fighting cancer.

MATERIALS
Worksheet 2 Cancer Warriors (PDF)

DIRECTIONS
1. To begin, view the video for Taylor's story ("Speaking Out"). This is an inspiring story of a young person diagnosed with cancer who learns important things about cancer and about herself.

2. Discuss how this story involved a diagnosis that was completely unexpected due to Taylor's youth and health. Point out how Taylor responded to the news with a combination of positivity, curiosity, and a scientific attitude. Discuss how this approach benefitted her during her treatment and her life after cancer.

3. Remind students of Taylor's interest in cancer statistics. Professionals who collect statistics are called statisticians. It is important to collect and understand statistics about cancer, since knowing these details allows scientists and doctors to better fight it. Share the statistics about cancer below with your students, or ask them to guess what they think the numbers might be. The real answers might surprise them!

  • Expected number of cases of cancer to be diagnosed in 2012: 1,638,910
  • Survival rate for all cancers: 67% 
  • Overall cost of cancer in the United States: an estimated $263.8 billion in 2010
  • Type of cancer that accounts for the most cancer-related deaths: lung cancer
  • Increased risk of getting pancreatic cancer for smokers: 100%
  • Amount that being overweight or obese contributes to cancer-related mortality: 14–20%
  • Source: http://www.cancer.org/research/cancerfactsfigures/cancerfactsfigures/cancer-facts-figures-2012

4. Tell the class that, in addition to statisticians, there are many different professionals involved in the fight against cancer. Ask students to list the ones they know of and record these on the chalkboard. These could include: doctors, research scientists, advocates, and physical therapists, among others. Ask students to relate back to Taylor and how she became interested in the details of the fight against cancer. Ask how Taylor's interest eventually translated into new life goals.

5. Distribute Worksheet 2. Instruct students to complete the two sections of the worksheet, which include short research activities. Make sure students have access to the Internet.
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