The effects of cancer

Cancer and its treatment can have many effects physically, psychologically, financially and socially.   Your TYA team is here to help you and your family and loved ones cope with these challenges.

During or after treatment, you may worry about whether the cancer and its treatment will affect your relationships, body image, sex life or fertility (ability to have children). The TYA team can provide you with information and advice about talking to your family, friends and medical team about what is happening to your body and issues affecting your thoughts and feelings.

Psychological and emotional effects of cancer

Cancer can affect you in different ways. You may think that no one understands what you are going through, but there are other young people in a similar situation to you who really do get what you are feeling.

They might be going through exactly what you are – or they may have been through it in the past. Talking to them or reading their personal experiences could help you understand what’s happening to you and help you know you are not alone.

You will find a selection of personal stories from young people across the UK who have / have had cancer on the Teenage Cancer Trust  website. You might like to join their informal support network.

The TYA team will provide opportunities throughout the year for you to get together with other young people affected by cancer for support and fun.

Fertility and cancer

Cancer treatment can sometimes lead to infertility (inability to have a child), which can be confusing and difficult to come to terms with as a young person.

If you have concerns about your fertility you should speak to your clinical nurse specialist, doctor or consultant. Visit the Macmillan Cancer Support website or Teenage Cancer Trust website  for information on fertility issues and advice and support on the emotional impact of infertility.

Your education and work

One of the biggest worries for a young person with cancer may be the fear of falling behind in school or work, or losing contact with school friends.

It is important to talk to your family, friends and employers or teachers to explain your situation and how you are feeling as they can help to make things as easy and accessible for you during your cancer diagnosis and/or treatment.

Your TYA team can offer you support with education and work. Helpful information and advice is also available through the UK charity CLIC Sargent which is dedicated to helping young people and their families affected by cancer.

Last updated November 2019.