Monday, May 05, 2014

Some hospitals have special areas for teen cancer patients

 Teens and young adults, sadly, sometimes get leukemias, thyroid cancer, germ cell cancer and some other types not as common in children and adults.

And according to Laura Landro, WSJ, Apr 29, 2014, cancer in this age group hits a vulnerable group. They don't belong in the adult wards--or the pediatric wards.

Often, too, this age group does not hang out at the doctor's and may be diagnosed late. Also cancer acts differently in this age group.

Seattle Children's is one hosp that has created special areas for teens and young adults.

The teens preload iPods with music that helped them cope.

The staff knows about sensitive the young people are about their looks (losing hair, looking ill). Also sometimes friends visit, sometimes not. The units help patients understand.

They also help the youngsters deal with fear. One patient said he was OK on fear until he was told he was cancer-free--then he began to worry about it coming back.

The young adults are also consulted on being in trials and must sign alongside their parents.

It seems to come down to respect and insight.

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