Saturday, November 20, 2010

Dont forget them too

There are cases of childhood cancers where mom and dad gather around and hold hands and take their child back and forth. Its a horrible time as parents are afraid their young child will die. Parents should never see their child suffer through chemotherapy and die before them.

There are cases of cancer of older adults - over 40 - who account for the vast majority of cancer cases in the US. The are the expected age group to get cancer and are screened and tested for it through mammograms, colonoscopies and PSA tests.

Then there are the cancer cases in young adults, 19 to 39. The group who are likely to have little or no medical coverage, less likely to go to the doctor regularly but still get cancer. Cancers that are often discovered late because of the less frequent medical visits. They also feel too old to get their primary support from their parents and look to their friends for support.

Its only in recent years that young adults have been noticed in the cancer community. In the past, they were offered the support groups and other resources that were 'for old people' and told to go about their lives after being blasted with a crisis that basically shakes up everything and causes a lot of trauma in their lives.

There is one great organization that focuses on this 'lost' generation - that is i2y. But now there is another group called Focus Under 40.

I call them the lost generation because if you are between 19 and 39 and have cancer, you are young and dreaming of your life and making a career. You are starting on the road of life and it just turned into a roller coaster that only stops at the oncologist's office. We should not forget this lost generation who are coping with cancer as well.

I know because I was one. I had cancer the first time at 19. The doctors said I should go about my life. There was no support. This is one area where we need to focus our efforts to support these young people. I am very glad to see these two groups and hope there are more to come.

We should not forget them

1 comment:

Smathers House of Girls said...

There's a great web site called planetcancer.org. It's basically everyone in that age group and offers a lot of support. It helped me a lot when I didn't think anyone understood.