Super Heroes Educate Young Men About Testicular Cancer

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According to Ryerson University School of Fashion professor and comic book artist David Brame comic books might help in educating young men and their partners about testicular cancer and its early symptoms and encourage them to do more self-screening.

Along with Dr. Peter Chung and Dr. Joyce Nyhof-Young of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Princess Margaret Hospital, and David Kolin, a medical student at the University of Toronto the four individuals have put together a study entitled Ain’t Nothing Comic About It! Educating Young Men about Testicular Cancer: A Resource Development Project.

Brame and his team looked at existing pamphlets to help educate on the subject on testicular cancer and found that illustrated resources were lacking.  Often, what does exist is written without the average reader in mind using lots of medical terminology.

Two comic books were created by the team, A Courageous Journey, follows a young man through diagnosis and treatment. It also addresses the many social, economic and psychological issues that patients may face along the way. The second comic book , Testicular Cancer: Screening and Diagnosis, describes the symptoms, how to perform a self-examination and the importance of seeking prompt medical treatment if worrisome changes are noticed.

Surveys showed that the use of the two comic books increased knowledge dramatically.  The team stresses that the medical profession needs to find better ways to educate on similar issues and that with better education disease is less likely to advanced unchecked.

According to the Canadian and American Cancer Societies, an estimated 8,900 North American men are diagnosed with testicular cancer each year and about 450 will die from the disease. The most common form of cancer in men aged 15 to 34, testicular cancer is often curable, especially if detected early.