UK Teenage Cancer Trust demands government action to aid young cancer patients

ersonal health than that of younger children; there is no clear pathway for referral and those referred to paediatric or adult centres are subject to different treatment protocols..

  • Relatively few young adults are enlisted in clinical trials compared to 75% of children; the pharmaceutical industry dominates this field and this age group in each country is proportionately too small to justify their involvement; some of the cancers are rare and do not inspire trials; hospital policies may exclude this group as too young or too old because of the way cancer provision is divided into paediatric or adult oncology; clinicians may see young people as non-compliant..

  • The variety of cancers in this age group includes both childhood and adult cancers the way the system is divided into generic childhood cancers and site specific adult cancers does not fit this in-between group..

  • This age group has emotional and social needs that are different in many ways from those of adults or children family issues are more complex in the transition from childhood to adulthood; the effect on fertility is a major and poignant consideration; relationships are crucial to teenagers and cancer isolates the young patient; education is vital for 16-18 year-olds yet is rarely provided in a hospital setting for this age group; being thrown from growing independence back into dependence upsets the family equilibrium; palliative care requires special expertise; there are long term effects on careers, the ability to get mortgages, insurance etc


  • Contact: Margaret Willson
    Teenage Cancer Trust

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