Young cancer patients in and around Norwich could benefit after a city hospital was designated a specialist centre.

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The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has been named a teenage and young adults cancer treatment hub.

It means that patients aged 19 to 25 can be treated with their peers, helping them to deal with the social challenges of dealing with the illness.

The N&N is one of three such centres in East Anglia, along with Ipswich Hospital and Peterborough Hospital, though patients may still have to travel to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, which for some types of treatment.

Chief executive Anna Dugdale said the designation confirmed services which the N&N had already been providing to young people.

“We are delighted with the news which confirms our position as a provider of specialist services to teenagers and young adults with cancer.

“Cancer is quite rare in younger age groups and this presents particular difficulties for those patients who are affected.

“We see a small group of patients each year who will have social and psychological needs in addition to their need for clinical treatment.

“This new status is an opportunity to develop those services in partnership with other organisations.”

A spokesman said the change would concentrate expertise in one place to benefit the small number of teenage cancer sufferers, around 10 a year, that the hospital deals with.

Patients from the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston may also be referred to the N&N.

The spokesman said the change was part of a more “holistic” approach, which considered the social dimension of the treatment of young patients alongside their work or university studies.

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