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Cancer is the most common cause of non-accidental death in teenagers and young adults in the UK.
Every single day in the UK, 7 young people aged between 13 and 24 will be told that they have cancer. That is 7 yesterday, 7 today, 7 tomorrow..... and their lives will change forever.
Cancer in 13-24 year-olds comes in many forms and treatments may vary. In this age group cancer can behave differently, sometimes striking in rarer, more complex and dangerous forms which may require harsh regimes of treatment in an attempt to save lives. However, research has made great strides over time and nearly three-quarters of British teenagers and young adults who develop cancer, now survive the illness.
Cancer in young adults
Every day in the UK, seven young people aged 12 to 24 are
told they have cancer.
Cancer is the number one cause of non-accidental deathin
young adults in the UK.
One in 12 males and one in 361 females will get cancer before
they are 20.
Boys up to the age of 15 have a one in 450 chance of
developing cancer, rising to one in 208 by the time they reach 24. Girls up
to the age of 15 have a one in 517 chance of developing cancer, rising to
one in 239 by the time they reach 24.
Different cancers predominate at different ages: leukaemia,
lymphomas and brain tumours in 13 to18 year-olds, and
lymphomas, carcinomas (soft tissue cancers) and germ cell
tumours (e.g. testicular cancer) in 19 to 24 year-olds.
Incidence rates are now higher in 13 to 24 year-olds than in
children, yet survival rates for this age group have not improved
Nearly three-quarters of British teenagers and young adults
who develop cancer now survive cancer. The greatest increase in
survival rates is for leukaemia, which has risen by over 20% over
the last 20 years. But survival rates for brain tumours, bone
cancers and soft tissue cancers have not changed much since the
Young people get some of the most aggressive cancers. But because
only 0.5% of all cancers occur in young people, they are often
misdiagnosed initially. This decreases their chances of survival and can
mean they are excluded from clinical trials.
Office for National Statistics.