Young people living with cancer

Reviewed by:


A Grinyer
McGraw-Hill Companies (2007)
ISBN: 0-335-22154-8
182 pages
RRP: $62.00

This book is recommended reading for all health care professionals who encounter or are likely to encounter adolescents and young adults with cancer. Although rare, adolescents and young adults with cancer have distinct care needs separate from paediatric and older adult cancer patients.

The book addresses the reasons and the need to understand these differences and how to improve their care. Grinyer describes the cancer journey of adolescents and young adults with cancer through the eyes of 28 patients interviewed. The patients are typical for the adolescents and young adults with cancer population, including patients with testicular cancer, osteosarcomas, Hodgkin Lymphomas and leukaemias.

For easy reference the patients are named with their diagnosis, age and life stage (school, job) at the beginning of the book. The text is then divided into chapters on their experiences of diagnosis, the setting of care, the loss of independence felt, disruption of their life trajectory with reflection on life plans and friendships and the effect of illness on physical appearance as well as sexuality and fertility. 

Collating this at the end are the implications for policy and practice.

Though written from the English health care setting, Young People Living with Cancer is applicable to Australian practice. The book does not focus on the palliation of adolescent and young adults with cancer patients which is an area of need in itself.

I found the book easy and rewarding to read over a couple of nights and have recommended it as a valuable resource to others throughout my department.

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