April is Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Awareness Month and two Huddersfield charities are involved in the 2024 campaign.

More than 20 charities have come together to raise awareness and will be sharing how they support young people with cancer, raising awareness of the issues young people face and, most importantly, supporting young people to share their experiences and ensure their voices are heard.

The two Huddersfield charities involved are Project Youth Cancer and the Ella Dawson Foundation. Around 2,400 young people aged 13 to 24 are diagnosed with cancer in the UK every year.

Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Awareness Month Steering Group patient representative Shaumya Kularajan said: “We know many young people may find it difficult or embarrassing to seek medical help before, during or after treatment, especially when they’re worried about sensitive issues.

“Cancer is different in young people. They have very different needs to younger children and older adults facing this disease so they need a special, tailored approach to improving cancer diagnosis, treatment, care and support.

“So, this Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Awareness Month we’re raising awareness around the importance of accessing healthcare and advocating for young people to make their voices heard.

“It is crucial for young people to feel empowered in healthcare settings so they feel able to advocate for themselves and their needs. Shared decision making helps young people to feel more in control and taking time to learn about and understand a young person’s priorities can enable us to focus on what matters to them.”

Helen Mervill, head of operations at Huddersfield-based Project Youth Cancer, said: “Empowering young people around healthcare is something we are incredibly passionate about at Project Youth Cancer and it starts with promoting body awareness and highlighting common cancer signs and symptoms.

“It is important we all feel empowered to seek medical advice if we have concerns and also feel confident in asking for support with our mental health when needed. We want every young person with cancer to feel supported in both body and mind throughout treatment and beyond.”

Helen Mervill

Kate Collins, chief executive at Teenage Cancer Trust, said: “This April Teenage Cancer Trust will be shining a light on the challenges young people face after they finish cancer treatment and the support available to help them adjust to life after cancer.

“Reaching the end of treatment is a major milestone for any young person with cancer. But moving forward from cancer can be equally challenging – the physical, psychological and emotional impacts can be felt long afterwards and may even hit hardest after treatment is over.

“That is why we’ll be launching new information and advice to support teenagers and young adults with the challenges of rebuilding their lives after cancer and why we’re also asking young people recovering from cancer to share their experiences of life after treatment to help send out the message to any young people struggling in the aftermath of cancer that they are not alone.”

The charities supporting Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Awareness Month 2024 are Bone Cancer Research TrustBrain Tumour ResearchCancer Research UKChildren with Cancer UKChildren’s Cancer and Leukaemia GroupDragonfly Cancer TrustElla Dawson FoundationEllen Macarthur Cancer TrustGrace Kelly Childhood Cancer TrustIt’s In The BagLennox Children’s Cancer FundThe Little Princess TrustLymphoma ActionNeuroblastoma UKProject Youth CancerSarcoma UKSolving Kids CancerTeenage Cancer TrustTeenagers and Young Adults with CancerTeens Unite Fighting CancerTom Bowdidge FoundationTrekstock, and Young Lives vs Cancer.

Search #TYACAM to follow Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Awareness Month and find out how the charities are raising awareness and how you can get involved this April.

Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR (https://ah-pr.com/) specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting.