THEME: Real World Connections
Lesson: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Learning Outcomes: Students will acknowledge Breast Cancer Awareness Month, will
examine how they might reduce their cancer risk, and learn what they can do to support
What is Breast Cancer Awareness Week all about?
Is there something we can do in our daily lives to reduce our risk of cancer?
What can we do as citizens to assist in the research to make cancer history?
1 x 15
1. Ask students if they are aware it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. How were
they made aware?
2. Ask how many in the class have been touched in someway by cancer: family,
friends, and acquaintances?
3. Read the purpose of Breast Cancer Awareness Month:
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Canadian Cancer Society
encourages you to take a bit of time out of your busy day, to learn how to reduce your
4. The Canadian Cancer Society outlines seven steps to reduce your risk of cancer.
Over half of cancers can be prevented. Ask the class to list as many of the steps
as they can think of prior to reading them. (list below)
5. Brainstorm ideas on how individuals or groups can help further the cause of
cancer research. (list below)
Seven Steps to Health
At least half of all cancers can be prevented through healthy living and policies that protect the
health of Canadians Take the following steps to reduce your risk of developing cancer.
1. Be a non-smoker and avoid second-hand smoke.
Smoking causes about 30% of all cancer deaths in Canada. Lung cancer is the leading cause of
cancer death for men and women in Canada. Smoking also increases your risk of developing
cancers of the mouth, throat, larynx, cervix, pancreas, esophagus, colon, rectum, kidney and
Non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke are also at higher risk of getting cancer and other
lung diseases. Health Canada estimates that more than 300 non-smokers die from lung cancer
each year because of second-hand smoke.
If you are a smoker, quit. If you are a non-smoker, avoid second-hand smoke.
2. Eat 5–10 servings of vegetables and fruit a day. Choose high fiber, lower fat foods. If
you drink alcohol, limit your intake to 1–2 drinks a day.
Research suggests as much as one third of all cancers may be related to what we eat and drink.
Eat 5 to 10 servings of vegetables and fruit a day. Eat plenty of whole grain fibers and keep your
dietary fat intake low. For a healthy diet, balance your daily meals with foods from the 4 food
groups described in Canada's Food Guide. If you drink alcohol, limit your consumption. Having
one or more alcoholic drinks a day is associated with a slight increase in breast cancer risk. If you
are pregnant or breast-feeding, avoid alcohol.
3. Be physically active on a regular basis: this will also help you maintain a healthy body
Most people know that regular exercise is necessary to remain healthy. Studies strongly suggest
that exercise reduces your risk of colon cancer. Also, the evidence of a link between physical
activity and breast cancer is convincing.
4. Protect yourself and your family from the sun,
particularly between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are at their strongest or anytime of
the day the UV Index™ is 3 or more. Check your skin regularly and report any changes to your
This year tens of thousands of Canadians will develop skin cancer because of over exposure to
UV (ultraviolet light). Skin cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in Canada.
Reduce sun exposure between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Seek shade or create your own. Keep babies
under one year old out of direct sun. Tanning parlours and sunlamps are not safe. When you are
in the sun, always remember SLIP, SLAP, SLOP:
SLIP on clothing to cover your arms and legs
SLAP on a wide-brimmed hat
SLOP on sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher)
5. Follow cancer screening guidelines
Even people with healthy lifestyles can develop cancer. One way to detect cancer early is to have
regular screening tests. These tests can often find cancer when it is still at an early stage. The
earlier the cancer is found, the more successful the treatment is likely to be.
For women, know the screening guidelines for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer.
For men, know the screening guideline for colorectal cancer and talk to your doctor about your
risk of prostate cancer.
6. Visit your doctor or dentist if you notice any change in your normal state of health.
Know your body and report any changes to your doctor or dentist as soon as possible (for
example, sores that do not heal, a cough which goes on for more than 4 weeks or a change in
bowel habits). Health care professionals are trained to spot the early warning signs of cancer and
7. Follow health and safety instructions at home and at work when using, storing and
disposing of hazardous materials.
At home and at work, take care to follow safety instructions when using, storing and disposing of
household pesticides or any other chemicals.
Health Canada and Environment Canada have guidelines for handling cancer-causing
substances. By following these guidelines, you can protect yourself against the risk posed by
these materials. These guidelines are printed on the packaging and posted in workplaces.
How can individuals or groups assist Cancer Research?
1. Volunteer to make Cancer History
Over 13,000 volunteers across Saskatchewan are committed to making cancer history.
They give anywhere from one hour to countless hours. They do everything from stuff
envelopes to advocate for change. And they volunteer because they believe they can
make cancer history.
2. Make a donation
To give to the Canadian Cancer Society, you can:
Our donations system is fast and secure. Make a general donation, or give in honour or in
memory of someone special.
Give by phone
Call us toll-free at 1-877-977-HOPE, anywhere in Saskatchewan
Planned giving lets you build a charitable gift into your overall financial, tax and estate
plan. The result: maximum benefits for you and more support for the fight against cancer.
You can designate your gift to support:
support for people living with cancer
Cancer Connection for people living with cancer
all Canadian Cancer Society programs
3. Community Based Fundraising
Participating in a Canadian Cancer Society activity is a great way to have fun, build
community spirit and raise money to beat cancer.
Whether you choose to visit your neighbours, shave your head or walk around a track
overnight, your participation will help the Canadian Cancer Society make cancer history.
In addition to raising money, these special events help us provide the public with
important information about cancer and risk reduction. Special events also help highlight
our services for people living with cancer and the research that we fund.
Relay for Life
Relay For Life is about honouring cancer survivors and remembering those who have lost
the battle with cancer. It is also a fun, community-based non-competitive event. Teams of
10 participants walk, run or stroll around a track to raise funds for the Canadian Cancer
Society. If you enjoy live entertainment, food, fun and group camping, this event is for
In April, Canadian Cancer Society volunteers canvass their neighbourhoods for our
annual door-to-door campaign.
Look what daffodils do! Brighten your day with the flowers that symbolize spring and
hope in the fight against cancer.
Cops for Cancer
Find out how cops and others are going bareheaded for the cause.
Get arrested for the cause. Find out how participants get arrested and raise bail to help
make cancer history.
Hold your own event
Make cancer history by hosting your own fundraising event to raise money for the
Canadian Cancer Society. Get some tips on how to do it.
Patches of Hope
Patches of Hope Quilt Auction is a Saskatchewan-wide event that brings quilters together
to show their talent while supporting world-class cancer research and the Canadian
Cancer Society's groundbreaking Client Advocate service in Saskatchewan.
Cattle Baron's Ball
In 2008, the Canadian Cancer Society is holding its first Cattle Baron's Ball. Learn how
cowboys and cowgirls are helping fight cancer.
Women can learn about their breast health with the help of a stylish new accessory.
The Sux keychain
Help promote men's cancer awareness with this keychain that sticks to walls.
Keep bananas from bruising when placed in your backpack, purse or briefcase with the
BananaBunker and eat well.
Prairie Women on Snowmobiles
Prairie Women on Snowmobiles (PWOS) is a provincial awareness event designed to
focus attention on breast cancer awareness and the recreation of snowmobiling.