Friday 21st July 2017

Teenage Cancer Trust welcomes the publication today of the NHS England’s annual National Cancer Experience Survey. Like them, we know that there’s more to having cancer than the clinical services.

Each year, the Cancer Patient Experience Survey takes a sample of people accessing cancer services and finds out what they felt about their experiences, from diagnosis to treatment and beyond. Did they feel respected by their doctors? Did they feel enough attention was paid to what they wanted? Did they get enough information about their cancer and their treatment? From this, the NHS and organisations like Teenage Cancer Trust can learn more about what it’s like to have cancer in the UK.

The survey shows that there's more to be done for teenagers and young adults with cancer: for example, although young people scored more highly on access to specialist nurses, only 52% of those aged 16 – 24 understood the explanation of what was wrong with them, compared with 77% of those aged 75 – 84.

Although the Cancer Patient Experience Survey is a positive step towards understanding what patients really think about cancer services, it doesn't tell us enough about what it's like to be a young person with cancer. At Teenage Cancer Trust, we're working with partners, including the NHS, to make sure that in the future the needs teenagers and young adults are understood.

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