Survivors Teaching Students: Increasing awareness about ovarian cancer

Margaret Fitch, Alison McAndrew, Fran Turner, Elisabeth Ross, Iris Pison


New evidence has emerged concerning the persistent presence of a combination of symptoms that can be indicative of ovarian cancer. Professionals need to be aware of this evidence and incorporate it into their practice. Ovarian Cancer Canada (OCC) has implemented an innovative program in selected Canadian universities, as a method to educate undergraduate medical and nursing students about ovarian cancer. Survivors Teaching Students has been offered to 3,620 undergraduate students. This article presents the evaluation of the program using pre and post session surveys. Overall, students reported a change in knowledge related to the progression of ovarian cancer, symptoms of ovarian cancer, risk factors for the disease, and perspectives about what a woman with ovarian cancer might feel on being diagnosed. Having survivors provide the classroom session brought “a face and a voice” to the issue of ovarian cancer for the students.

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