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Young people with cancer should never face treatment alone, say charities

19 March 2021

Covid-19 restrictions are forcing some young people are to attend cancer treatment and appointments alone, putting them at unnecessary risk of confusion, fear and isolation, warn the Teenage Cancer Trust and CLIC Sargent.

The two charities say facing cancer alone has been one of the biggest concerns for cancer patients aged 16 to 25 throughout the pandemic.

For instance, a poll of 100 young people on a Facebook support group revealed that 90% had been treated in hospital alone.

And the charities have heard directly about the impact from young people, whether they’re receiving a cancer diagnosis, or weeks of treatment with no help.

Facing cancer alone has been one of the biggest concerns for cancer patients aged 16 to 25 throughout the pandemic

The Hand2Hold campaign aims to ensure that young people, wherever safe and possible, have a companion with them at key moments during cancer diagnosis and treatment.

The charities have written an open letter to cancer ministers in all four UK nations, asking them to make a commitment that, where possible, young people can have a hand to hold throughout treatment and beyond.

The chief nurse at the Teenage Cancer Trust, Dr Louise Soanes, said: ‘We understand that the coronavirus pandemic means we need to take extra precautions to protect those who are most vulnerable, but know that in some places, having that important hand to hold is allowed – whereas in others, it is not.’ 

Image credit | iStock

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