Support for young people
There are a number of organisations that provide information and support for children and young people affected by cancer:
This can include:
information about the diagnosis and treatment of cancers in children and young people
support for young cancer patients and their families
support for young people with a family member or friend who has cancer.
Cancer in children and young adults
Young people with cancer need more support than many older patients, including emotional and social support, and help to continue their education or training. It is also important to consider the possible effects of treatment on their fertility in the future and look at ways to preserve this.
Children with cancer (0 -14 years) are treated at specialist paediatric hospitals or centres. These centres can provide appropriate treatment and support for the child and their family.
Adolescents and young adults (15 to 25 years) are generally treated at adult hospitals, but there are also specialist services called youth cancer services which can provide support for these patients.
The Canrefer website has information on paediatric centres and youth cancer services in NSW and ACT.
What you may feel
It can be a distressing time when you or someone in your family has cancer.
- You may feel uncertain about the future and scared.
- It may not seem fair and you may feel angry.
- You may feel like you don’t know what is happening.
- You may feel lonely and different from your friends.
- It can also be hard to concentrate at school or while studying.
- If a family member has cancer, you may feel that no one cares about you any more, or you can feel bad if you are having fun.
These are normal feelings. It can help to talk to someone, but it can sometimes seem difficult to find anyone who understands your situation.
Support for children and young adults
Whether you are a young person with cancer, or have a parent, brother, sister or friend with cancer, it’s important to know:
- You are not on your own.
- There are people you can talk to.
- Every cancer and every person is different.
- Getting the right information is important.
Remember to talk to your parents and family. There are also places you can go to get help and advice or just someone to talk to. It can help to make a list of questions you want to ask.
Organisations that provide information and support for children and young people include:
- Cancer Council
- Kids Helpline
- Camp Quality
- Young Carers
You can also talk to the cancer care coordinator or social worker where you are being seen. They can tell you what services and support groups are available locally. Your GP may also be able to provide information about this.