Cancer information for young people

If you are a young person who is living with cancer, we have information and support especially for you.

Our cancer guide for young people answers questions you may have. It includes tips and advice from other young people who are living with cancer.

Information about treatments

We have information about chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery. You can also read more about treatments in our information about cancer types.

Information about cancer types

Cancer in teenagers and young adults is quite rare. Most cancers are diagnosed in people over the age of 65.

Certain cancers are more likely to affect teenagers and young adults. We have information about some of these.

Bone cancer

The most common types of bone cancer to affect young people are osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma.

Brain tumours

A brain tumour is a tumour that start in the brain. These can be cancer or non-cancerous.

Leukaemia

Leukaemia (also spelled leukemia) is a blood cancer. There are different types of leukaemia. We have information for young people diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).

Lymphoma

Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system, which is part of the body’s immune system. There are two main types. These are Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).

Melanoma

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer. It is usually diagnosed early in young people.

Ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer starts in the ovaries, which are part of the female reproductive system. The most common types in young people are germ cell tumours.

Soft tissue sarcoma

Soft tissue sarcomas are cancers that develop from cells in the soft, supporting tissues of the body. Soft tissue includes muscle, cartilage, fat, fibrous tissue, nerves and blood vessels. The types of sarcoma that are most likely to affect young people are:

  • rhabdomyosarcoma
  • synovial sarcoma
  • soft tissue
  • Ewing sarcoma
  • fibrosarcoma.

Testicular cancer

The testicles are part of the male reproductive system. There are two main types of testicular cancer. These are non-seminoma and seminoma.

Thyroid cancer

The thyroid is a small gland in the front of the neck. There are different types of thyroid cancer. The most common types in young people are papillary and follicular thyroid cancer.

Getting support

You could use our Online Community to share your experience, meet other people going through the same things, ask questions or read other people’s posts. You can access it any time of day or night. It is for anyone aged 16 and over who is affected by cancer. You may find the group for people diagnosed at a young age a good place to start.

There are also organisations that provide information and support for teenagers and young adults with cancer.

Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT)

Offers information and support for people aged 13 to 24. They build cancer units for teenagers and young adults in hospitals, and organise support and information services for patients, their families, schools and health professionals.

CLIC Sargent

Provides clinical, practical and emotional support to help children, teenagers and young people cope with cancer and get the most out of life.

Teenagers and Young Adults with Cancer (TYAC)

Provides cancer information for people aged 13 to 24. They fund and support research into teenage and young adult cancers.

How we can help

Macmillan Cancer Support Line
The Macmillan Support Line offers confidential support to people living with cancer and their loved ones. If you need to talk, we'll listen.
0808 808 00 00
7 days a week, 9am - 5pm
Email us
Get in touch via this form
Chat online
7 days a week, 9am - 5pm
Online Community
An anonymous network of people affected by cancer which is free to join. Share experiences, ask questions and talk to people who understand.
Help in your area
What's going on near you? Find out about support groups, where to get information and how to get involved with Macmillan where you live.