For teens and young adults with cancer, life may seem more complex than it is for younger children or adults.
As they undergo treatment, teenagers must also cope with separation from their school and friends. Unlike younger children, teens are acutely aware of the long-term implications of a cancer diagnosis. But perhaps the most difficult challenge can be the loss of friends to death.
To help patients traverse the landscape of loss, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital oncologist Liza-Marie Johnson, MD, conducted research in which she spoke with teens and young adult patients at St. Jude.
Of the study’s participants, 37% had lost friends, with 66% of those deaths related to cancer. Many of the patients admitted they rarely, if ever, discussed those losses. A full report on Johnson’s research findings recently appeared in the journal PLOS One.
From Promise, Spring 2018