Tuesday 1st October 2019
20 young people across the UK, whose cancer and treatment has led to scarring, hair loss, huge weight fluctuations, facial tumours and amputations, are speaking out about their experiences – and offering tips and advice on how to cope.
Teenage Cancer Trust say that body image issues are an important issue for the young people it supports, and in a snap online poll* conducted earlier this year, asked young people what worried them most about their cancer diagnosis.
It found that nearly a quarter (23%) were most worried about how their looks would be affected, this was second to survival rates (39%), but is a higher figure than those most worried about painful and lengthy treatment (21%).
Now, Teenage Cancer Trust hope that the tips and advice from young people shared in the campaign’s inspiring #StillMe online films and at www.teenagecancertrust.org/stillme will help other people struggling with body issues, whatever their age.
For the campaign, Angel Shepherd-Bascom, 23, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in 2018 aged 22, is opening-up about what it was like to lose her hair and eyelashes and the impact of significant weight loss on her body image.
Angel stars in two online films for the #StillMe campaign, made by Teenage Cancer Trust with Kohl Kreatives, which can be viewed on the charity’s website. Kohl Kreatives is a charity that helps men and women recreate features using make-up and provides support to people undergoing chemotherapy, those with visible differences, and also the transgender community.
“My hope is that the films and the #StillMe campaign helps others who are struggling or who want to help others.
“It’s not easy to look at yourself in the mirror when you’re bald with no eyelashes. But practice self-love and self-care, try and own the changes and be who you are, because your body is fighting so much more.
“Before cancer I spent so much of my life not doing things because I was too scared, shy, and worrying what other people thought. If you want to do something just go for it, you only get one chance.”
Kate Collins, Chief Executive Officer, Teenage Cancer Trust, said:
“Over the past three decades we’ve supported thousands of young people through treatment, and we know that changes in appearance can be distressing and tough to deal with.
“The 'ideal' bodies and looks portrayed on Instagram that many young people aspire to are difficult to live up to at the best of times - and the effects of cancer and treatment on appearance can really add to this pressure.
“The 20 young people who are sharing their experiences will do so much to help other people facing similar issues. We’re really proud and grateful that they are part of our #StillMe campaign.”
For advice from young people involved in the #StillMe campaign about coping with body image issues, and how you can support people with cancer please visit www.teenagecancertrust.org/stillme
*53 young people who have been diagnosed with cancer responded to an online poll conducted by Teenage Cancer Trust in May 2019. Participants came from a pool of young people that Teenage Cancer Trust currently supports or have supported in the past.
Notes to editors
For more information or to set up an interview with a young person or Teenage Cancer Trust spokesperson, please call the PR team on 020 7291 6963 or email email@example.com
Out of hours please call the duty press officer on 0757 225 1265.
About Teenage Cancer Trust
- Every day, seven young people in the UK aged 13 to 24 hear the words "you have cancer".
- Teenage Cancer Trust puts young people in the best possible place, physically, mentally and emotionally, for their cancer treatment and beyond.
- We do it through our expert nurses, support teams, and hospital units. And we're the only UK charity dedicated to providing this specialised nursing care and support.
- Teenage Cancer Trust is a registered charity: 1062559 (England & Wales), SC039757 (Scotland).