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Cancer Advisor
July 31, 2019
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Young Adult (18-24)
  • Ben’s story: ‘Cancer has taught me a lot’

    Diagnosis & treatment After having a sore on his neck for a few weeks Ben decided to make an appointment with his local GP in Perth. Although Ben was more preoccupied about the sore, after hearing about Ben’s history of headaches the doctor insisted on getting tests done. A few weeks later, the 23-year-old was told he had a benign brain tumour and needed surgery. However, after testing the biopsy the tumour turned out to be a malignant four centimetre mass. It was classified as stage 2 with characteristics of stage 3 astrocytoma glioma. The mass was on the right […]

  • Maddy Ritchie: I Don’t Know How She Does It

    Being 17 is complicated enough. Being told you have a rare pelvic tumour can really turn your world upside down. Meet Maddy: she’s now in her early 20s, two years cancer-free and a passionate volunteer with cancer charities. She speaks candidly about treatment, fertility, spirituality and how she got through her experience. From MamaMia’s ‘I Don’t Know How She Does It’ podcast series.

  • Danielle’s story: One day at a time

    They say that our first love will stay in our hearts forever. This couldn’t be more true for 26-year Danielle Paparone. At 19 she was swept off her feet by an affable young man with striking blue eyes. After a blissful year together, he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. However, treatment was unsuccessful, and he died three years after diagnosis. Danielle shares her incredible love story with Cancer Advisor and tells us how she turns her pain into purpose. “He had very big blue eyes and that’s what drew me in,” Danielle says. Jake first laid his big blue […]

  • For young adults – cancer and your family

    If you’re a young person diagnosed with cancer you probably have lots of questions about how it will affect your family. While every family is different and has its own strengths and quirks, it may be helpful to consider some common questions. Click on a section below to see some tips and hints, as well as recommendations for further reading. Cancer Advisor has a range of resources for young people facing cancer, but we’re always looking for more content. Leave a comment below, share your own story or recommend a resource.

  • Neuroblastoma staging

    Cancer Australia’s factsheet provides an overview of neuroblastoma staging and the symptoms and treatment that can be experienced. It covers topics such as risk factors for the disease, how diagnosis is made, and what support services are available. Diagnostic tests will also help indicate the stage of the tumour. Staging determines where the tumour is, how large it is, which nearby organs are involved, and whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. This will be important for the treatment team to assess the best options, and to determine the prognosis for your child. See below for a […]

  • Adult hospitals and treatment centres in Australia

    When it comes to hospital and treatment centres, teenagers and young people facing cancer have a unique set of needs. Where a young person is treated will most likely depend on their age. If you’re a young adult, you’ll go to an adult hospital. However, teenagers can be sent to either a children’s hospital or an adult facility. What hospital you go to may also depend on where you live or even what type of cancer you have. Not all hospitals offer cancer treatment, so you may have to travel, especially if you live in a regional or rural area. Some […]

  • Advice on friendship during your cancer journey

    This article Cancer and your friends from Redkite offers some advice around friendship during your cancer journey. Often young people find telling their friends about their cancer diagnosis particularly difficult. Even without cancer, people and relationships change – you may find that certain friendships change and new ones may emerge. Some ways to maintain friendships during this time include: Try to be honest and open with them if you can and lean on them when you need to Warn them you may be snappy or angry at times and ask them to forgive you if needed Ask them to keep inviting you […]

  • Angus’ story: Being a transgender childhood cancer survivor

    On the New Zealand website, Stuff, a transgender cancer survivor shares his story of his upcoming mastectomy. Angus Coleman was diagnosed with Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH) at just 16 months old. LCH is a rare type of cancer that can damage tissue or cause lesions to form in one or more places in the body. During his time with cancer, Angus had ongoing treatment from an endocrinologist which is now helping him take his next steps in his gender transition. “I was actually set up with an endocrinologist back when I was diagnosed with langerhans cell histiocytosis  [rare cancer]which is actually the doctor you need […]

  • Support for grandparents of kids with cancer

    Grandparents of Kids with Cancer is a web page which offers support for grandparents around the world, giving them a place to share their experiences with other people who have a grandchild with cancer. They advocate for the important role that grandparents play in the family, and acknowledge the emotional and practical needs of grandparents. On the website they say, “Being told that your grandchild has cancer is devastating. Not only is your grandchild going through the most traumatic experience, but your own child is also facing the worst pain imaginable. Talking to other grandparents who are going through the […]

  • Coping with cancer at university

    In this article on UK news website The Guardian, Robin Cannone shares his personal experience of university as a young person with cancer. Cannone was diagnosed with a type of lymphoma, the most common cancers among 15- to 24-year-olds, representing 21% of diagnoses in the UK. I was looking through my hospital room window and imagining what I’d be doing if I hadn’t been diagnosed with cancer. I wanted to be going clubbing and worrying about university deadlines like a normal 20-year-old – not stuck indoors with a syringe in my arm. -Robin Cannone, young person with cancer Cannone acknowledges the important part that […]

  • Cancer survivor creates empathy cards

    Emily McDowell has created these empathy cards for people with serious illnesses. As a cancer survivor herself, Emily understands that sometimes people don’t know what to say to someone when they are diagnosed with cancer. “The most difficult part of my illness wasn’t losing my hair, or being erroneously called ‘sir’ by Starbucks baristas, or sickness from chemo. It was the loneliness and isolation I felt when many of my close friends and family members disappeared because they didn’t know what to say, or said the absolute wrong thing without realizing it.” – Emily McDowell These quirky empathy cards will […]

  • Caring for a son with cancer

    This New York Times documentary follows the story of Regina Hensley and her son Andrew as he fights an aggressive form of cancer, Ewing’s Sarcoma. For years, Regina Hensley struggled with addiction, even once attempting suicide. When her son Andrew was born, he gave her a reason to live. But when he received his diagnosis at 13 years old, Regina had to search for meaning once again. ‘Without Andrew, I can’t imagine what life would be about.’ -Regina Hensley In response to the documentary, the Times received almost 100 responses from parents who were caring for a sick child. Cancer Advisor […]

  • Working through treatment

    In this 11-minute TED Talk, lawyer Sarah Donnelly talks about her experiences working through treatment for breast cancer.  You can find a range of resources on work and study here. “Back at work I handed over the urgent things (…) but at that moment work wasn’t my priority. I was thinking how I was going to tell my friends and family I had cancer. I was wondering if my partner and I would ever have an opportunity to start a family (…) Work was about to play a huge role in my treatment and recovery. My job that would give me […]

  • One step closer to compulsory cancer education in UK

    Health education (including sex and relationship education) will become compulsory in the UK. According to a CoppaFeel press release this is one step closer to receiving compulsory cancer education. CoppaFeel is a UK breast cancer awareness charity. In their release, they explain: The guidance released today by the Department of Education shows great progress [showing]the need for pupils to be taught about not only the benefits of healthy eating and keeping fit (important factors to preventing cancer), but also the prevention of health problems and self examination. As we all know, preventing and detecting cancer early is vital in order to give […]

  • Sarcoma survivor advocates for sarcoma awareness

    Dominique Schell is a sarcoma survivor. In her TEDx talk, the 20 year old shares her personal experience of childhood cancer. In this speech, she talks about how as a survivor she feels an obligation to advocate for all the children who die of sarcoma each year. Schell was diagnosed with osteosarcoma at 10 years old, and in the 10 years following had many complications as the result of her initial surgery. She had eight chemotherapy sessions each lasting a week, which she describes as hell. Her side effects included weight loss, cravings, exhaustion, vomiting and hair loss. She says […]

  • ONTrac at Peter Mac

    The ONTrac at Peter Mac Cancer Service is located at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Victoria, Australia. Their multidisciplinary team of health professionals works together to ensure that young people are supported before, during and after their cancer treatment. This web page includes information on clinical services for young people like: diagnosis and disease management, palliative and survivorship care, general adolescent health, emotional and mental health concerns, fertility and sexual health, physical and nutritional wellbeing, school and vocation support, and family-focused treatments. The service also provides : Secondary consultation service, Professional development, education and training, research and data collection program, […]

  • Livewire – an online community for teens

    When you’re a teenager with a serious illness, not many people really get what you’re going through – and it can be hard for siblings too. That’s why we’ve created Livewire: a safe community for young people aged 12-20 living with disability, serious illness or a chronic health condition who can do with crew who understand and offer a little extra support. Online, Livewire is a place you can visit any time, knowing you’re always amongst friends who genuinely care. Here, you can swap stories, ask for ideas, and talk about whatever’s going on in your life, from operations, MRIs […]

  • Looking after yourself during cancer

    This page from Redkite gives an overview of how to take care of yourself physically and emotionally during your cancer journey. A large part of dealing with cancer is learning how to take care of yourself so that you are better prepared for challenges, but also ready to enjoy good things that come your way. Redkite offers tips on: Self-care Looking after your body Looking after your mind Having fun and taking risks Redkite provides a range of support services for young people with cancer including practical tips, financial assistance, and professional counselling. Cancer Advisor has a range of resources […]

  • Battle Weapons: A coping guide for young people with cancer

    Hi, my name is Nell and I’m the author of Battle Weapons: A coping guide for young people with cancer. I’m also a nurse and a cancer survivor. In high school, when we started the discussion about our future, my career advisor suggested nursing. This really appealed to me; to serve and support people at their most vulnerable is a great honour and privilege. Nursing is very diverse and I wasn’t sure for a long time where I wanted to take it, until I was diagnosed with cancer. I know my life’s purpose is to help those with cancer, particularly young people. […]

Comments

Adry Awan

Hi, Nell. Thanks so much for sharing this great resource. I wish I had a resource like Battle Weapons when I was going through treatment! It’s so rich in content, thorough and considerate. I love how the booklet breaks down all of the factors to consider during a cancer journey and also links external resources and support services (and as a passionate mental health advocate, really love how the section on mental health was first up!) Thanks again for sharing, all the best. Adry

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