According to the article, 6% of those diagnosed with cancer is the US are aged 15-39. This equates to seventy thousand young adults diagnosed with cancer every year in the United States.
The article examines the impact a cancer diagnosis can have on young people, especially given that they are less likely to be financially independent or have a family of their own yet.
However, “young adults fight back differently,” notes the author. “They seek the Internet to relieve loneliness, rally social media to demand better care and research, and even establish their own non-profits and outreach initiatives. They’re even transforming the dialogue around cancer, introducing current language and outreach that appeals to today’s strong, defiant millennial worldview.”
The article also discusses life after treatment, different to life before cancer, and with the risk of depression, post traumatic stress and anxiety. Priorities and outlook are also altered. One patient describes the loss of the ability to make small talk.
It also highlights a number of organisations, many of which have been started by cancer patients, which are helping young adults access the care that meets their unique needs, while easing the pangs of isolation.
Running through the article is the story of Jenna Benn, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 aged 29, and went on to launch her own successful non-profit called Twist Out Cancer, which aims to help other young adult patients build up communities and engage their friends.