The Young with Cancer

Cancer’s most isolated patients

For decades, the needs of adolescents and young adults with the disease have been slighted. That’s beginning to change. Physicians and researchers acknowledge that for decades, the needs of adolescents and young adults with cancer have been slighted. They frequently receive inconsistent treatment and follow-up care, and clinical trials and research focused on this age group have been scarce, according to oncologists and a report by the National Cancer Institute.

More than 72,000 adolescents and young adults — defined by the cancer institute as ages 15 to 39 — are diagnosed with cancer each year. For many, the disease is detected late for various reasons: Patients don’t recognize the symptoms or have no health insurance, or the cancer is initially mistaken for something else.

That may help explain why there has been very little improvement in cancer survival rates among adolescents and young adults, even as the rates for childhood cancers have risen steadily over the last few decades.

On top of the physical burdens of the disease, many young adults feel a painful isolation.
Physicians and researchers acknowledge that for decades, the needs of adolescents and young adults with cancer have been slighted. They frequently receive inconsistent treatment and follow-up care, and clinical trials and research focused on this age group have been scarce, according to oncologists and a report by the National Cancer Institute.

More than 72,000 adolescents and young adults — defined by the cancer institute as ages 15 to 39 — are diagnosed with cancer each year. For many, the disease is detected late for various reasons: Patients don’t recognize the symptoms or have no health insurance, or the cancer is initially mistaken for something else.

That may help explain why there has been very little improvement in cancer survival rates among adolescents and young adults, even as the rates for childhood cancers have risen steadily over the last few decades. 

On top of the physical burdens of the disease, many young adults feel a painful isolation.



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