Cancer unit for teenagers to be built

MARK NICHOLLS A £1.5m unit specialising in treating young cancer patients from East Anglia could be open by the end of next year. The Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT) unit will be built at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge and is likely to have 10 beds, with work scheduled to begin next April.

MARK NICHOLLS

A £1.5m unit specialising in treating young cancer patients from East Anglia could be open by the end of next year.

The Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT) unit will be built at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge and is likely to have 10 beds, with work scheduled to begin next April.

The unit, for patients aged 13-22, will be developed within an existing ward and will include a mixture of in-patient and out-patient beds and day care facilities

It will have the latest technology - computers, game consoles, interactive systems, digitally-controlled lighting - and will also have a kitchen for patients to prepare their own food.

Six teenagers in this country are diagnosed with cancer every day, and the trend is increasing: in the last 30 years, the rate has gone up by 50pc. It is now the most common cause of death in teen-agers and young adults - but the east of England has no specialist cancer facilities for them.

Most Read

TCT chief executive Simon Davies said: "This has been a long time coming and we are so excited to finally be able to announce that we are building a unit at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge. The oncology facilities at the hospital are second-to-none and we know our facility will add to the excellent reputation that the hospital has already earned.

"Patients in this age group - teenagers and young adults - have particular needs which are differ-ent to those of adults and children.

"They need specialist care because of the rarity of the tumours they get and also for the particular psychological and social problems they experience.

"Their lives are changing - they are moving from education to the world of work and have cancer on top of that. It can be a very difficult time for them. Our unit will address all of these issues."