Cancer affects many WCHS student in some way, whether they have a family member or friend with cancer, or they get involved with trying to prevent and spread awareness of cancer. It is important to start thinking about cancer prevention at a young age in order to be preventative and prepared to take on the many diseases.
Every two years, WCHS holds an educational program for female students regarding Breast Cancer Awareness. This year was no different, as professionals from Suburban Hospital as well as a breast cancer survivor spoke to students Feb. 19 during fourth period. Though the program was held specifically for female students, male students were allowed to attend if they submitted a note from a parent.
“The Check It Out for Teens Program is an educational program designed for 11th and 12th grade female students,” WCHS nurse Deborah Stapleton said. “It is taught by a Cancer Outreach and Education nurse from Suburban Hospital. Professional staff from Suburban Hospital as well as a breast cancer survivor will provide information about breast cancer.”
The program stressed the importance of early detection of breast cancer and discussed ways for students to be aware of their bodies and their family history. Students also received a gift bag with a pink pen and a guide for completing self-examinations of their breasts after completing a short quiz about the program.
According to the American Cancer Society, treatment of breast cancer is most successful when the cancer is detected at an early stage.
“[The program] stresses the value of developing good health habits, including monthly breast self-awareness checks and the importance of early detection of the disease,” Stapleton said.
WCHS chose to hold this event bi-annually to ensure that every female student (or male student) receives education that could be life-saving.
“The goal of Check It Out is to empower young women to take responsibility of their own breast health,” Stapleton said. “Students are encouraged to ask questions and to share information from the program with the adult women in their lives.”