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Prognosis for teenagers and young people with cancer fails to improve

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 04 March 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:540
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. London

    More teenagers and young people are getting cancer than ever before, said specialists and campaigners this week. But they are no more likely to survive their illness than they were 25 years ago because teenage cancer has been largely ignored by researchers, health service planners, and the government.

    New data show that, although cancer among 13 to 24 year olds is still rare, it has been increasing by an average of 1.2% every year since 1979 and now exceeds the cancer rate in younger children.

    An estimated 2000 people in this age group develop cancer every year, although the exact incidence and prevalence is difficult to pin down because of the way official statistics are collected.

    Myrna Whiteson, chairwoman of the Teenage Cancer Trust, said at the trust's third international conference on cancer and the adolescent, that teenagers and young adults had been “defined out …

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