Bill would mandate breast, prostate cancer education for high school students

Sen. Kevin Rader filed the legislation.

Sen. Kevin Rader has filed legislation requiring high school students in public schools to be taught about breast cancer and prostate cancer awareness.

Rader, a South Florida Democrat, filed a bill Friday (SB 276) that would update the state’s public K-12 education statute.

Section 1003.42 lays out several topics that are required to be covered as part of the public school curriculum. Topics which are currently mandated to be taught to students include the development of the Declaration of Independence, the history of the state and the conservation of natural resources, among other items.

Rader’s measure would add a provision to the portion of the statute covering health education.

“The health education curriculum for students in grades 9 through 12 shall include a breast cancer and prostate cancer awareness component that includes, but is not limited to, the characteristics of and measures to prevent breast cancer and prostate cancer,” the bill reads.

As of 2016, Florida has relatively low rates of new cases of both breast cancer and prostate cancer according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The state ranked in the bottom 10 in the nation for new cases according to those numbers, which is the most recent data set available from the CDC.

Florida had an age-adjusted rate of 116.5 new cases of breast cancer per 100,000 women, the CDC numbers showed. For prostate cancer, the state saw 86.4 new cases for every 100,000 men.

Rader’s legislation would look to keep those numbers on the low end as compared to the rest of the nation. The awareness education would be added to a health education curriculum that includes instruction on mental and emotional health, substance abuse and the consequences of teenage pregnancy, among other topics.

This isn’t the only adjustment Rader is looking to made to the public school curriculum this upcoming Session. He also has a bill seeking to expand the already-mandated education on the Holocaust. Rader’s bill would also force charter and private schools to teach about the Holocaust.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected].


  • VoteDem2020

    September 16, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    A required “Health” class for a marking period or half-year might be a good idea (it was part of Phys Ed in my day) – but how many class periods would Rader spend on the Holocaust? Also “force to teach” is DEFINITELY NOT a good phrase to use here!

  • HIS Breast Cancer Awareness

    September 16, 2019 at 5:31 pm

    Hoping the inclusion of Breast cancer also includes the education of Male Breast Cancer as this disease is not just associated with women. If we can be of any assistance in education of male breast cancer, please visit our website HIS Breast Cancer Awareness to learn more. In addition with breast and prostate, it’s important to also teach the risks associated with these from hereditary cancers.

  • Renee Richetto Grul FMCHC - Holistic Cannabis Practitioner

    September 17, 2019 at 7:55 am

    While this is a fantastic idea, I am in Functional Medicine, and developed a successful cancer protocol using baking soda and ACV – yes, you read that correctly. My findings published and were requested by U of WI. I am concerned WHAT they would be teaching and by WHOM. We know modern medicine is way behind the 8 ball – just look at the opioid crisis – they do not get to the root cause but rather treat symptoms. We know sugar is a primary catalyst behind cancer as it raises our acidity and cancer thrives in an acidic environment, but yet when one goes to receive their chemo treatments, one is presented with cookies, jello, and candy to appeal to the already declined appetites of the patients. Great idea, but very concerned government is nowhere near ready or equipped to handle teaching the truth about cancer.

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