Tuesday 19th June 2018

UK

Every day, around seven young people are diagnosed with cancer in the UK. But what is it like to find out you have cancer when you're young? 

Here at Teenage Cancer Trust, we know that young people need expert treatment and support from the moment they hear the word 'cancer'. We're the only UK charity providing young people with cancer with the specialised nursing care and support they need, and we've worked with BBC Horizon and other cancer charities to produce a new documentary film showing the benefits this brings for teenagers and young adults. 

'Teenagers vs Cancer: A User's Guide' follows the stories of eleven young people with cancer to see how they have dealt with their cancer experience, from diagnosis through to treatment and beyond. It's an incredible opportunity to hear from young people directly, in their own words, about their experiences, their thoughts and advice, and their hopes. 

Everything that I wanted to do and enjoyed the most was taken away from me and I was on lockdown.

Getting diagnosed with cancer doesn't stop young people being who they are - in 'Teenagers vs Cancer' you'll see how the support we offer at Teenage Cancer Trust goes beyond the world-leading teenage and young adult cancer care we provide on our specialist units. As Chloe, one of our young people featured in the film, says: 

It's not just about your treatment, it's about looking after you and making sure that you're mentally okay as well as physically okay.

From our incredible clinical nurse specialists and youth support coordinators who work hard to give young people like Matt unforgettable experiences to help keep them motivated to our Find Your Sense of Tumour events, where Nick was able to find information to help him follow his gap year dreams - at Teenage Cancer Trust, we put the needs of young people first.

Roger Daltrey, frontman of The Who and honorary patron of Teenage Cancer Trust, also appears in 'Teenagers vs Cancer'. He visited one of our specialist units to take part in a music therapy session with Timothy, a young person who was receiving treatment on the unit. Roger said: 

I am enormously grateful to the Horizon team and the BBC for highlighting the work of Teenage Cancer Trust. One of our greatest difficulties is conveying to the public the fact that these hospital wards are completely reliant on charitable donations and that, although we work in the NHS, we are not a funded part of it. Without Teenage Cancer Trust, these wards would not exist in our hospitals.

Over the many years I have been involved with the charity, I've had the honour to meet many teenagers with cancer and I am always astounded by their spirited, positive attitude. Music therapy is just one of the programmes we use to relieve the boredom of the time spent in hospital for our patients. The music business has played a key role in Teenage Cancer Trust's evolution just as teenagers were key to the creation of the pop music business as we know it. 

'Teenagers vs Cancer: A User's Guide' will air on BBC Two on Tuesday 26th June at 9:30pm. You can watch the trailer now below.