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Teenagers and young adults (cancer)

The Teenage and Young Adult (TYA) Service offers specialist care to people aged 16 – 24 who have been diagnosed with cancer.

Being diagnosed with cancer and facing treatment can make you feel scared and isolated. Some of the treatment you have had, or are having, may disrupt your routine and plans, which is where we can help. We have a large, dedicated team of professionals with a special interest in the care of young people who will support you, your friends and family throughout your treatment journey.

How we can help

When you are referred to the Teenage Cancer Trust Young Persons’ Unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB), you will come into contact with experts for your particular type of cancer, which can include:

  • doctors
  • consultants
  • nurses
  • Teenage Cancer Trust clinical nurse specialists
  • psychologists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Teenage Cancer Trust youth support co-ordinators
  • teachers
  • CLIC Sargent social workers
  • community youth workers
  • TYA Service team and ward staff – often referred to as a multi-disciplinary team (MDT)

We also have weekly meetings with the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital (ROH) and Birmingham Children’s Hospital (BCH) teams. More importantly, we will all be working together to provide specialist expert treatment and support to every young person.

Our priority is to ensure that all young people diagnosed with cancer are offered specialist care combined with the psychological, emotional, social and practical needs you have as a young person. We see everyone as an individual, not just a diagnosis.

You will be referred to a consultant oncologist (cancer doctor) or haematologist (blood cancer doctor) who will be in charge of your treatment. They see patients both on the ward and in outpatient clinics. You will also be allocated a key worker, which will usually be one of the Teenage Cancer Trust clinical nurse specialists who will work alongside your treatment team and act as a point of contact whenever a patient has questions or concerns.

All team members involved in your care will be happy to answer any questions that you may have, or find the best possible person to do so. We have a wide range of information booklets available, but if you would like something in particular please ask.

Teenage Cancer Trust Young Persons’ Unit

The Teenage Cancer Trust Young Persons’ Unit is an eleven-bed ward. There are two four-bed bays and three side rooms, with shared lounge, kitchen and study rooms, plus the Eden Room (cinema), which provides the perfect space to relax, unwind and socialise.

Within the Teenage Cancer Trust Young Persons’ Unit there is a dedicated day care facility for patients whose treatment does not require an overnight stay. There is space for a visitor to sit with you whilst you have your treatment and you are welcome to use the social spaces on the ward and take part in any activities that are scheduled once your treatment is up and running.

There are lots of things for you to do. We have facilities for gaming, watching films, board games, and arts and crafts. More importantly there is free WiFi access across the unit, provided and managed by the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Our Teenage Cancer Trust youth support co-ordinator runs weekly activities, which include pizza nights, music lessons and exercise classes, as well as opportunities to join off-site activities.

We have the staff and equipment to make your stay with us as comfortable as possible:

  • Single-sex bays
  • Activities on and off the ward
  • Education and employment support
  • Complementary therapy
  • Health and welfare advice
  • “Look good, feel better” days
  • Games consoles
  • PCs

As part of the TYA Service, we provide:

  • therapeutic massage
  • active gaming sessions
  • support in employment and education
  • social groups and peer support
  • guitar tuition
  • financial support and advice
  • fertility and sexual health advice
  • advice on well-being, fitness and healthy lifestyles

We also liaise with local agencies and other specialist teams.

Last reviewed: 04 July 2022