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If you’re a young person and you or someone close to you has cancer, then you’ll probably identify with many of the emotions| that have already been mentioned in this section. But the emotions that young people affected by cancer experience can be especially hard to deal with.
If you’re young and have cancer or know someone with cancer, you may find yourself feeling angry and resentful. It can be difficult to cope with cancer at a stage when you want more freedom, instead of being asked to take on new responsibilities. If you have cancer, you may find that you’ll have to become more dependent on your parents again. It may be a shock to have to think about your health when you may not be used to feeling ill.
You can find out more about cancer types, tests, treatments and living with cancer as a teen or young adult.
If you or someone close to you has cancer, you may find yourself tearful, depressed| and unsure about how to cope with all the changing emotions you’re experiencing. You may feel it’s not fair that life is going on as normal for other people, and as though no one understands what you’re going through.
You may find that you ask yourself a lot of difficult questions about the cancer and how it’s affecting you. Feelings and experiences like these are all very natural and understandable, but it can be difficult to cope with such strong feelings on your own.
However, it’s sometimes difficult to talk about things like this, even with the people you’re close to. If you’re finding it hard to talk, you may find it helps to discuss your feelings with a trained counsellor.
You could try contacting a support group for young people with cancer. This will give you a chance to talk to others who are in a similar situation and facing the same challenges. Our cancer support specialists can tell you more about support groups|.
There are groups on Macmillan’s online community| for teenagers who are affected by cancer. You can share your experience of cancer and get online support.
Organisations like CLIC Sargent| and Teenage Cancer Trust| specialise in helping young people with cancer and their families. Riprap| is for young people who have a parent with cancer.
Macmillan has resources for young people affected by cancer, including our booklet I’m still me: a guide for young people affected by cancer|.
Content last reviewed: 1 May 2012
Next planned review: 2014
For answers, support or just a chat, call the Macmillan Support Line free (Monday to Friday, 9am-8pm)
If you have any questions about cancer, need support or just want someone to talk to, ask Macmillan.
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© Macmillan Cancer Support 2013
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