Cancer affects millions of people each year. Sadly, a large portion of those affected include young people. Young people are identified as Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer (AYA). This group includes people between the ages of 15 and 39 years old. AYA was created because people who fall within this age range typically need different treatment compared to children and older adults. If you want to support a young person diagnosed with cancer, this post can help you.
BE A GOOD LISTENER
One of the most important things you can do to support a young person diagnosed with cancer is be a good listener. Their life has been turned upside down at such a young age. They might not know how to handle their emotions. They don’t know what lies ahead of them.
At this point, they likely don’t want advice; instead, they likely want to voice their fears, concerns, frustrations, sadness, and anger without judgment. Encourage them to talk about other areas of their life as well to help reduce their stress. It can go a long way in helping them cope with their battle.
HELP THEM SHARE
Many young people diagnosed with cancer want to share their story but don’t know how or where to do so. Many support groups are for older patients battling cancer, and this can make younger patients uncomfortable. The support in those groups might also only be tailored to older cancer patients.
You need to help the young person diagnosed with cancer share their story as much as they want. You can help them start a blog to monitor their progress, set up a social media page dedicated to their battle, or begin a video blog or podcast about their battle.
Be sure not to force any young person into sharing. If they are tired of talking about things, then it is time to take a break. Follow what they want to do so you can help along the way but be sure not to overstep your bounds.
LEARN ABOUT THE DISEASE
When you try to support a young person diagnosed with cancer, there’s plenty you can do, including helping them share their story and listening to their fears. There’s another important thing you can do and that is some research. Not all cancers are the same, and they affect people differently. You need to learn about the disease the young person has and its effects on their body.
Learning about the specific diagnosis of the young person’s cancer will make it easier for you to have meaningful conversations with them. Once you learn about the disease, you will have a better understanding of their needs and can offer to help in various ways. This can include school work, yard work, chores, finances, or anything else they deem necessary.
Do you know a young person in your school or community who has been diagnosed with cancer? Send them a care package with all of their favorite things from ROCK the TREATMENT™. They will be thrilled to know someone is thinking of them during such a difficult time.