16 March 2023
Friendships. Relationships. Exams. Parties. Hormones. Travel? University? Kids? Being a teenager or young adult can be difficult but should also be super exciting. There are so many important decisions, that first sweet smell of freedom. Independence.
Then you hear the three words you least expected: “you have cancer”, and all those plans, hopes and dreams threaten to come crashing down.
Around 2,300 young people aged 15-24 are diagnosed with cancer every year. Imagine being a teenager or young adult and having to juggle the unique challenges that this time brings – on top of dealing with a cancer diagnosis and the huge impact of treatment.
Cancer is different in young people. They have very different needs to younger children and older adults facing this disease, so they need a special, tailored approach to improving cancer diagnosis, treatment, care and support.
The far-reaching impact of cancer does not end when treatment ends. Quality of life and learning to live well with cancer is vital too. The impact of a cancer diagnosis can continue for many years.
We must raise awareness of the distinct challenges this age group face and make a difference for young people with cancer. That’s why we’re launching Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Awareness Month this April.
So young people can share their stories and be listened to. So that together we can tackle the challenges and make a change.
Frank Fletcher, Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust CEO, said: “We are proud to be supporting the first ever Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Awareness Month.
“We see first-hand how the needs of teenagers and young adults we support are very different to the younger ones. This is why we introduced trips for 18-24-year-olds in 2010 and ensure all young people are with others of a similar age when they come on their first sailing adventure with us.
“Our ‘graduate volunteers’ – adult volunteers who were previously supported by us after treatment – also provide positive, aspirational role models to young people in areas such as education, work, and relationships.
“Over the next three years we are committed to our Ambition to ‘Go Further’ to provide wider mental health, education, training, and careers support to young people, through developing our own work and partnerships, both existing and new.
“I am delighted the sector has come together to launch this new initiative and look forward to helping it grow in the coming years.”
Cancer charities from across the UK have come together for the first Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Awareness Month.
Throughout April, we’ll be sharing young people’s experiences of cancer, raising awareness of the unique needs of this age group, showing how we support young people and work to improve their experience through specialised services and research, and highlighting where change is urgently needed.
The charities involved are Bone Cancer Research Trust, Brain Tumour Research, Cancer Research UK, Children with Cancer UK, Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group, Dragonfly Cancer Trust, Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, The Little Princess Trust, Sarcoma UK, Solving Kids Cancer, Teenage Cancer Trust, Teenagers and Young Adults with Cancer (TYAC), Teens Unite Fighting Cancer, The Tom Bowdidge Foundation, Trekstock and Young Lives vs Cancer.
Search #TYACAM to follow Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Awareness Month and find out how the charities are raising awareness and how you can get involved this April.