Document Type : Research Article (s)


1 Faculty of Medicine, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan

2 Faculty of Human Health Sciences, Meio University, Okinawa, Japan


Background: In Japan, cancer education utilizing external lecturers are being promoted as part of cancer control measures. The objective of this study was to clarify children’s perceptions of cancer and survivors and their awareness of actions for early prevention and detection of cancer after participating in a cancer education program engaging with survivors.
Methods: This study was conducted during January and March 2020, using the qualitative analysis method. Homeroom teachers gave a lesson on cancer to sixth-grade students (n=69) at an elementary school in Japan. Two weeks later, a cancer survivor gave a follow-up class. Then an inductive content analysis was conducted on the content of the post-class reflection worksheets written by students.
Results: After analyzing the worksheets of 59 students, they learned that “to reduce the risk of developing cancer, one should lead a healthy lifestyle” and “strive for early detection through cancer screening” through the education program. As things they can do themselves in the future, they listed “encourage family members to get cancer screenings,” “quit smoking,” and “cut back on alcohol.” In addition, children have deepened their understanding of cancer survivors and learned the importance of their own and others’ lives.
Conclusion: The results suggested that children gained practical knowledge about cancer through the program and deepened their understanding of cancer and survivors by directly interacting with and listening to survivors.


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