A young girl heard what she thought was a gun go off inside her home when she was 15. She went to see if her father had heard it, but he acted as though nothing was wrong. Only a few moments after the young girl heard the sound, she had a seizure that would lead to changes in her life forever. When she arrived at the hospital, doctors ordered tests to determine what happened. All of the scans revealed nothing. However, an MRI result came back later in the week and showed something devastating.
Sarah had a tumor in her brain. The tumor was removed. Doctors told her that it was cancer. However, there is only a small chance for any further development. Sarah isn’t the only teen or young adult who has had to deal with cancer. There are others who are just like her, some not as lucky. Some teens want to meet other survivors while others only want to live life to its fullest. There are strengths that they have that others don’t.
The medical community is trying to reach out to this group, but they often fall between the cracks regarding healthcare and treatments. They are too old to be considered children, so they can’t really get the help needed from pediatricians, but they are too young to get the treatments offered by doctors who work with adults. Patients who are teens or young adults want to be treated like everyone else. They want to be able to live the same kind of life that older adults would. Treatments are being explored that will treat cancer while still allowing this age group to have some kind of life once they are older, such as having kids or going to college. Most of the time, teens, and younger adults get different types of cancers than older adults, making it difficult to know how to treat them.