Understanding Cancer


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Understanding Cancer is an informative and empowering educational curriculum focused on informing community members of the cancer disease. The curriculum was designed from reliable and evidence-based sources to introduce cancer through an equitable and inclusive lens by addressing the disease’s topics. All of the materials incorporate health literacy principles to build knowledge and improve health-related decision-making while providing the tools and resources necessary to recognize what you can do to lower the risk of cancer. By sharing this knowledge, we can help our communities better understand cancer and how to prevent it.

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Goals & Objectives

The curriculum’s goal is to inform, empower, and engage patients, cancer survivors, caregivers, and friends or family members on topics relating to cancer. After completing this cancer education training, participants will be able to:

  • discuss ways to reduce cancer risk
  • know recommended cancer screening exams and screening guidelines
  • identify where to access both local and national resources to learn more


The Cancer 101: A Cancer Education and Training Program for American Indian and Alaska Natives was the original inspiration for developing a community-based cancer curriculum. Due to the success of Cancer 101, members from the Appalachia Community Cancer Network’s (ACCN) created a curriculum called Understanding Cancer Guidebook and Study Sheets that was funded by the National Cancer Institute and focused on populations in the Appalachian region. The Understanding Cancer 2nd Edition curriculum includes extended and updated content as well as new activities and resources for all to reference.

Understanding Cancer Overview

UC Overview video by Brenna Robinson

Frequently Asked Questions