[Skip to Content]
beneath the surFACE Trailer

beneath the surFACE

Endorsed by*:

American Cancer Society logo

American Cancer Society logo

beneath the surFACE is a head and neck cancer awareness and education outreach program developed by the Upstate Cancer Center in Syracuse, NY. The primary audiences are students in the age range of 10 to 13 (middle school) with relevant information for 14 to 18+ (high school).

The program focuses on educating students on the importance of avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol use and receiving the HPV vaccine to reduce the risk of head and neck cancers. Initially, the project worked with eight local high schools and presented to over 3000 health class students. The presentation and information have been reformatted to include a self-guided lesson plan for instructors, student activities, HPV fact sheets and resources, and a documentary of the original project.

*The American Cancer Society is grateful to Upstate Medical University for their efforts to educate the community on the importance of the HPV vaccination. Upstate is a true partner for the Society's mission to attack cancer from every angle.

Program Components

  • If you would like to have several of the Program Components open in separate tabs or windows, right-click or control-click the component and select your preference.
  • Please be sure to complete the survey following your lesson to help us make improvements to the curriculum.

We are working on updating the beneath the surFACE presentation. If you have questions in the meantime, please email ryanmart@upstate.edu

These materials are for educational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a health care professional. Because of unique individual needs, the readers should consult their personal physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader's individual situation.

Origins of beneath the surFACE

mask artOriginally the program was presented to several middle and high school health classes. We also partnered with art classes in a unique project that educated and brought awareness. Students were allowed to take creative license in the creation of masks through their art classes and learn about Head and Neck cancer. Canvases of the radiation masks make for a unique display of what patients might experience during their treatment. The masks were then auctioned in order to raise funds for patients of Head and Neck Cancer.

The participation and response was overwhelmingly positive from all involved. Several schools requested the presentation materials in order to teach it in their own classes. Based on these requests, we have created highly pertinent digital content that is easy to use and navigate.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, beneath the surFACE by Upstate Medical University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License..

For More Information


Martha J Ryan, RN, MPS
Program Coordinator, beneath the surFACE
315 415-0682