Testicular cancer awareness in a large urban school system: Evaluation of pilot program

In 2017, PHASE ONE funded and helped create a pilot program with LAUSD that educated high school students about testicular cancer. Due to such positive response, PHASE ONE funded the program again in 2018 to help introduce and expand the program into new schools in the district. Below you can read an abstract of the pilot program’s evaluation from the 2018 Annual ASCO Meeting, made available by the ASCO Meeting Library.

“Testicular cancer awareness in a large urban school system: Evaluation of pilot program.”

Authors: Kathleen Ruccione, Aaron Plant, Emerald Snow, Timothy Kordic, James Hu, Terry David Church, Stuart E. Siegel; Department of Doctoral Programs, School of Nursing, Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, CA; Sentient Research, West Covina, CA; Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles, CA; University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles, CA; University of Southern...

Background: Testicular cancer is the most common cancer among males age 15-34. Lack of understanding and awareness of testicular cancer and self-examination are barriers to early detection. A program aimed at increasing testicular cancer awareness and self-examination was created and implemented in the LAUSD in 2017. Effectiveness of this program is presented here.

Methods: Twelve classrooms at six high schools (34%-99% Hispanic) participated in the one-week program. Students completed a questionnaire (n = 1,382) before the program began and an identical questionnaire upon program completion (n = 1,338). The 16-item instrument measured knowledge and attitudes toward testicular cancer and self-examination. Male students completed three additional items about self-examination, self-efficacy, comfort speaking to a health provider, and self-examination in the past month. A 16-item teacher questionnaire was administered at the end of the program.

Results: Seven of nine knowledge/awareness items had statistically significant increases from the pre-test to post-test survey. The percentage of students strongly agreeing that testicular self-examination is important for men’s health increased from 53.8% to 75.5% (p < .001). Among male participants, there were increases in the percentage who strongly agreed they could recognize signs of testicular cancer (14.5% vs. 36.6%; p < .001) and comfort in speaking to a health provider about their testicular health also increased (27.4% vs. 36.0%; p < .001). The percentage of male students who had performed a testicular self-examination in the past month increased from 29.1% to 48.2% (p < .001). The teacher survey revealed a high level of satisfaction with the quality and content of the lessons, as well as possible ways to improve the program.

Conclusions: The results of this pilot program were promising. The evaluation showed increases in knowledge, awareness, and attitudes, and a nearly 20% increase in testicular self-examination among males. Next steps will include refinements to the program, followed by implementation with a larger sample with a more rigorous study design to determine if wide-scale dissemination of the program throughout the district and beyond is warranted.