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Lessons for Grades 9-12

Lesson 3: The Day-to-Day Fight

Lead a class discussion about how important it is to understand the daily details of those who live with cancer.

Students will participate in discussions and group work that’s focused on the practical issues facing cancer survivors.

Worksheet 3 The Day-to-Day Fight (PDF)

1. Ask students what they know about cancer. Write responses on the board. Then share with students these facts:

  • Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States.
  • Cancer occurs when cells grow and divide and don’t die as they should. It can spread to different parts of the body.
  • Some cancers are inherited; other cancers may be caused by factors in the environment such as overexposure to sunlight or any exposure to tobacco smoke. We don’t know the causes of all cancers.
  • Many cancers can be detected by medical exams.
  • Many cancers can be treated with surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, hormones, and/or biological therapy.
  • People with cancer can live full, productive lives.

2. Emphasize that fighting cancer might involve overcoming a lot of adversity. Tell students that this adversity can take many forms, both seen and unseen. Provide examples of seen and unseen so students have a frame of reference. Next, explore some of the practical issues related to having cancer. Chart the responses on the board.

3. Show the video “Practical Considerations”

4. Afterward focus discussion on the following questions:

  • What daily practical considerations did survivors face?
  • What were the survivors’ attitudes toward the fight?
  • Why was attitude important in their fight?
  • Why is learning about the daily concerns of living with cancer useful?

If possible, divide the class into small groups and assign each group a question. Afterward have groups share their responses with the whole class.

5. Distribute Worksheet 3. Divide the class into eight groups and have each group complete the worksheet. Then go through each situation and ask two groups to give a brief report on it. Groups will share their situation and what their group discussed. Discuss why it’s important to understand the daily details of those who live with cancer.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES:If your students are interested in how they can help cancer patients directly, mention these options to your class:

1. Meet weekly with a person living with cancer. Ask questions about their daily life and concerns to learn about the practical aspects of their struggle. Offer support and encouragement.

2. Volunteer weekly at a hospital for cancer patients. Make yourself available for any daily needs. Remember, daily needs can also include simple emotional support.
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