Researchers use game show format to increase cancer awareness

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Washington, April 19 (ANI): Patient advocates and researchers in the US are using a game show format to educate their community about cancer.

Using a combination of "Jeopardy," "Saturday Night Live" and a Discovery Channel show called MythBusters researchers at Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center presented "Mythbusters: Cancer Research in Jeopardy" to their community.

Jane Kennedy, manager of patient advocacy at the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center, said: "Educational programs that are unique, entertaining and interactive can have a positive effect.

"This project was an opportunity for advocates and researchers to work together and provide community education in a new and entertaining way before an actual cancer diagnosis."

Kennedy presented her experience with educating the community via this new interactive learning tool at the American Association for Cancer Research 101st Annual Meeting 2010, held in Washington from April 17- 21.

Kennedy and colleagues invited 50 community members to the event; 46 attended.

In a format she described as similar to the "Jeopardy" game show, the group of cancer survivors and postdoctoral fellows responded to 10 common myths about cancer research.

Kennedy said: "Similar to 'Saturday Night Live,' our 'faux celebrities' provided humorous responses to the myths presented."

Myths included information like: clinical trials are risky and not safe; you can't drop out of a clinical trial once you enroll; and cancer clinical trials are a "last resort," etc.

Participants responded electronically.

Once the responses were tabulated and presented to the participants, top researchers and experts from Vanderbilt appeared via video to discuss the truth of the myth in question.

Survey results taken after the game showed that the participants' knowledge increased by 20 per cent, which Kennedy said was significant in an audience where 70 percent had college degrees.

Ninety-six per cent said the game was an effective method for learning and 87 percent said they would discuss clinical trials with their family.

Kennedy said the advocates, researchers and professionals who participated in "Mythbusters: Cancer Research in Jeopardy" were universally positive about the idea and the experience. (ANI)

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