Getting cancer, especially when you’re so young, will be a total shock but there’s no need to blame yourself, or anyone else. Most of the time, we don’t know why one young person gets cancer and another doesn’t. 

What we do know is, at your age, lifestyle choices won’t be the reason you have cancer. This is more of a risk for middle-aged or older people. So while cigarettes and takeaways won’t do you any favours, it’s very unlikely they will have had anything to do with your cancer.

Some reasons for cancer in young people could be:

  • There might be a higher risk of cancer in your family. 
  • You may have had a viral infection, like the flu, which could have increased your risk of developing cancer.
  • Some cancers start before you are even born – when you are growing in the womb. 
  • Doctors think young people may develop cancers, like brain tumours, when they grow very quickly.

“When the test results came back and I was given the diagnosis, I felt so shocked. I wondered if I had done anything to cause the condition, but the consultants at the hospital said that it had developed naturally and it wasn’t my fault.” - Anais 

Where next?

Updated March 2018, next review due 2021.