While we will continue to offer support in our 28 specialist units, our new service extends our support in an exciting way. Over the coming years we will be working with hospitals and regions across the whole of the UK to roll out the new service, giving real control back to young people with cancer to choose how and where they want to be treated.
What's the problem?
Almost half of young people with cancer are not treated in our units. This might be because Principal Treatment Centres for cancer (where our units are based) are a long way from where young people live, or sometimes young people are not referred to us.
"Even though I wasn't being treated on a unit, I was assigned a Teenage Cancer Trust team who would come out to me, both at my local hospital and at home."
That could mean they’re treated either with young children or much older adults in hospitals where there isn’t the same level of expertise that we provide. They might also never meet another young person with cancer, which can be a scary and lonely experience.
Reaching every young person with cancer
So while our units, and the teams who work on them, will always be at the core of our work, we need to go further. We need to reach every young person with cancer no matter where they receive their treatment. We need to offer all young people with cancer the best support from diagnosis, right throughout treatment, and after treatment has ended.
To make that happen, we’re starting to build much wider links across NHS networks – so we can be there for young people in main cancer hospitals, local designated hospitals, or even in their homes. We’re determined to reach every young person with cancer in the UK – and to make sure they’re supported by experts in young people’s cancer from the moment they're diagnosed.