Andrew Jones, MP for Harrogate & Knaresborough, met with national bone and soft tissue cancer charity Sarcoma UK last week during Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Awareness Month. They discussed the work the charity is doing to take action for children, teenagers and young adults diagnosed with sarcoma. Andrew is pleased to support Sarcoma UK on raising awareness of the distinct challenges this age group face and make a difference for young people with cancer.
Sarcomas are uncommon cancers that can affect any part of the body. There are many different types of sarcoma, however all subtypes of sarcoma can be grouped into soft tissue sarcomas and bone sarcomas.
Sarcoma is the third most common CTYA (children, teenagers and young adults) cancer in the UK, with a child, teenager or young adult (age 0-24) being diagnosed with sarcoma every day.
Being a teenager or young adult can be difficult but should also be exciting. There are so many important decisions, and many start to experience freedom and independence for the first time.
Then you hear the three words you least expected: ‘you have cancer’, and all those plans, hopes and dreams threaten to come crashing down.
Sarcomas have a worse survival rate than average for cancers affecting this age range. They are 15% less likely to survive for 5 years than the average CTYA cancer, and sarcoma can be among the deadliest types.
We must raise awareness of the distinct challenges this age group face and improve outcomes for young people with cancer.
This April, cancer charities from across the UK have come together for the first Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Awareness Month. So young people can share their stories and be listened to. Together, we can tackle the challenges and make a change.
Yesterday’s event at the House of Commons was attended by MPs from across the country. Sarcoma UK also welcomed Ellie Cooper, aged 18, who was diagnosed with Ewings sarcoma in 2021. Ellie bravely spoke of her experiences with sarcoma as a young person.
Also in attendance were representatives from Sarcoma UK such as CEO Richard Davidson, and Director of Research, Policy and Support, Dr Sorrel Bickley.
“Cancer is different in young people. They have very different needs to older adults facing this disease, so they need a special, tailored approach to improving cancer diagnosis, treatment, care and support,’ says Dr Sorrel Bickley, Director of Research, Policy and Support at Sarcoma UK.
“The far-reaching impact of cancer does not end when treatment ends. Quality of life and learning to live well with cancer is vital too. The impact of a cancer diagnosis can continue for many years.’
“We must raise awareness of the distinct challenges this age group face and improve outcomes for young people with cancer. I am proud to work with Sarcoma UK to help spread awareness of this rare cancer in young people.”
For more information about sarcoma in teenagers and young adults, please visit the charity’s dedicated TYA information page.
More general information on sarcoma, such as signs and symptoms, support, and how Sarcoma UK is funding vital research and campaigning for better treatments, is available at sarcoma.org.uk.