16th 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.
Each year, around 2,300 young people aged 15-24 are diagnosed with cancer. 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 from 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 are 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.
Nikki Bowdidge, CEO and Founder of TBF
We are so pleased that a month is being dedicated to highlight the specific challenges that young cancer patients face. It is so important that their voices are heard in order that the right support is available to them.
It is vital that they have an opportunity to share their stories and experiences, so that those who can help are able to solve the problems and hopefully make a positive change to their experience.
It is so important that we will be working with our partner charities, who each have their own skill sets and provide a wide range of services. Together we hope to give young cancer patients the very best support possible.
The work carried out at TBF has always been driven by Tom’s experience and continues to do so. He wanted to make sure everyone had an option to be treated in age-appropriate facilities; that support would be there for whatever was needed by individuals and that research started to focus more on teenage cancers which are so aggressive and rare.
Our hope now is that April will always be the month where awareness of Teenage and Young Adult Cancer reaches as many people as possible so together we can make a real difference to the lives of young people living with cancer.
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.
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.