Comic Books Raise Testicular Cancer Awareness

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2010-09-24 20:07

Researchers have found a novel way to teach young men about testicular cancer through comic books. The impetus is to get young men to do more self screening for signs of the disease that primarily strikes men age 15 to 34.

According to Ryerson University School of Fashion professor and comic book artist David Brame, “Existing pamphlets about testicular cancer are usually written by healthcare providers, which means they may contain jargon that isn’t readily understood by the average person. Most pamphlets circulated at hospitals are also directed at patients, and do not reach the broader population.”

Many men remain unaware of the danger of testicular cancer. Diagnosis made later in the disease decreases the chances of survival, but detected early, the disease is curable. According to estimates from the Canadian and American Cancer Societies, 8900 men develop cancer of the testicles each year - 450 will die from the disease.

Comic Books Feature True Stories about Testicular Cancer

The research team explored comic books that already deliver education about HIV, hepatitis B, asthma, leukemia and H1N1 flu. They conducted interviews with 40 patients diagnosed with testicular cancer at Princess Margaret Hospital. From the data collected, Dr. Nyhof-Young determined educational needs and Brame went to work on the artwork. The end result was true to life stories from patients with cancer; delivered mainstream.

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