Where will I be treated?

One of the biggest decisions to make is where you will be treated. It may be that because of your type of cancer, your place of treatment is already decided for you. If this decision hasn’t been made, it’s important you ask your consultant about your options.

Meeting your unique needs requires special knowledge and skills, so NHS England has stated that there should be cancer services especially for teenagers and young adults (TYA for short). These services are aimed at young people between the ages of 16 and 24.

Where will I get treatment and how is it decided?

Where you have treatment will depend on a number of things like your age, where you live, recommendations from your consultant and which hospital has the expertise to give you the best possible care.

If you’re aged between 16 and 18

NHS guidance says your treatment should be at a Principal Treatment Centre (PTC) for young people. These are hospitals that have specialist expertise in teenage and young adult cancer.

If you’re 19 or older

NHS guidance says you should have the option of having your treatment at a PTC, or at a teenage and young adult cancer designated unit working in partnership with the PTC.

Some of your treatment may be on an outpatient basis – that is, you will turn up to the hospital clinic for your treatment and then go home the same day. Other times you may need to stay in hospital for a while as an inpatient.

For more details, it’s best to ask your doctors and nurses to explain what is happening, who can provide your treatment, and what your options are.

What you should expect

You should receive high-quality care wherever this is provided, and no matter how old you are. It's important that you know what to expect from your care - read our information about NHS services for teenagers and young adults.

Updated December 2015, next review due 2018.