Cancer services for 16 to 24-year-olds

Cancer in teenagers and young adults

Young people diagnosed with cancer have very different needs to those of either children or older adults. Because your body may still be developing, it can affect the type of treatment you need and how your body responds to it. 

Cancer may also affect you emotionally and in your everyday life. Education, starting work, relationships and becoming independent from your family can be complicated for any young person. It's even harder when you have cancer.

Your family, friends and partner may need support too.

Cancer services for teenagers and young adults 

Meeting these needs requires special knowledge and skills. The NHS in England has set up cancer services especially for teenagers and young adults aged 16 to 24. These are called TYA cancer services.

TYA cancer services should meet national standards. These are set out in an official document known as a service specification, which explains how NHS cancer care should work for 16 to 24-year-olds in England.

Summary for young people 

CLIC Sargent has worked with Teenage Cancer Trust and the NHS to develop a summary to help explain what you can expect from your NHS cancer care. You can read the summary here: NHS Cancer Services for Teenagers and Young Adults.

This summary tells you the highlights of the service specification. It explains:

  • The main standards for a teenage and young adult cancer service
  • How the service works, including your choices
  • What quality of care you can expect.

There is also information about what to do if you think these standards are not being met.

0 to 15-year-olds

There is a separate service summary for children aged 0 to 15, which CLIC Sargent has developed with NHS England. You can read that summary here: NHS Cancer Service Specification summary.


Content added: November 2015
Review due: November 2016