Why is cancer a special problem to the young?
Because of hormonal changes in our bodies during adolescence, cancer in young people may be more complex than in other age groups. Additionally, because of the high expectation of 'cure' in this age group, the forms of treatment can be particularly aggressive.
At a time when they are just on the verge of adult life, and with enough understanding to realise the severity of the situation, the diagnosis of a life-threatening disease particularly devastating.
There are cruel, physically and mentally debilitating regimes of treatment to be faced, often including hair loss and sometimes, even, amputation of limbs. A young person's peers may well feel discomfort and shy away, leaving a void in the area of most needed support, and having adverse effects on their spirit, self-esteem and social life.
Adolescence is recognised as a difficult time for the individual and for parents and teachers alike, yet it is during this time that they have to cope with the harsh treatments and cancer's complete disregard for age, dreams or ambition.