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Do you have questions about cancer?

Do you have questions about cancer?

Would you like help deciphering technical terms, complicated treatment options, and prevention possibilities? Do you just want someone to talk to?

You can get your questions answered about cancer at a personalized and detailed level.  Boise State cancer researcher Dr. Cheryl Jorcyk and her students will research topics related to the biology of cancer, and then explain them to you in lay terms during casual one-on-one conversations.

Image of cancer cellsThis service is part of a Service-Learning course, “BIOL 441/541, Molecular Biology of Cancer, Service Learning Lab”.  This teaching opportunity gives the students another way –and another reason– to learn about biology, and another method to practice the skills beyond those required by research.  Students will practice communicating, listening, translating technical information into lay terms, and relating to diverse people.

WHY IT WORKS: The faculty screens the potential “clients”, making sure they understand what the students can do and cannot do.  Students can research cancer topics, provide information, and translate technical information into lay explanations. They do not offer advice and do not counsel; the explanations they offer are not a substitute for professional medical consultation.

HOW IT WORKS:  Students meet with their “client” (any member of the campus community) three to four times over the semester.

  1.  At the first meeting the student listens to what their client knows about cancer, and offers personalized explanation of the basics of the biology of the type of cancer in question.
  2.  At the second meeting, the student provides explanations supported by copies of articles or websites.  Often the student will draw pictures or offer analogies to help the client understand the technical aspects of chemo or radiation, or the progress of cancer through stages.
  3.  At the third (and fourth) meeting the student provides additional resources that highlight prevention, future research, best sources for more information, and a list of local organizations that offer more specialized assistance.

More information on the course and the consultation service, contact Dr. Cheryl Jorcyk, Department of Biology, 426-4287,

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