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Airing Pain 141: Living with Childhood and Young Adult Cancer

This edition of Airing Pain sheds light on the unique challenges of living with cancer as a child or young adult, and the later impacts of the cancer treatment they underwent during the critical formative years.

Airing Pain speaks to experts on the longitudinal impacts of cancer for these age groups; across medical, physical, and psychosocial.

Pain and fatigue are commonly reported as the most significant negative impact on quality of life when living with cancer. Until quite recently there has been little research in the area of living with cancer and experiencing medical treatments for cancer as a child or young adult during the critical formative years, and even less so on the long-term impacts these treatments can have throughout later adulthood.

Our contributors discuss a variety of determinants that impact long-term effects such as type of treatment, type of cancer, their personal resilience, and their family and social support networks. We also hear of the opportunities in improving cancer care for these age groups, particularly with the difficult transition from child to adult care units.


Emeritus Professor Sam Ahmedzai,  NIHR National Specialty Lead for Cancer – Supportive & Community Care

Professor Diana Greenfield, Senior Consultant Nurse at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust

Ceinwen Giles, Co-CEO, Shine Cancer Support

Time Stamps:

0:50 Paul introducing Emeritus Professor Sam Ahmedzai, an internationally recognised pioneer in setting up palliative medicine. 2022 British Pain Society interview.

2:53 Discussion around later hormonal effects of some successful treatments used to eradicate and manage cancer in children and teenagers.

5:54 Professor Diana Greenfield, Senior Consultant Nurse at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust, NHS, on the transition between paediatric to adult cancer care.

13:18 The importance of family-centred care. Defined as a house or unit of care that can be traditional or non-traditional but represents a holistic support network.

18:00 Ceinwen Giles, Co-CEO, Shine Cancer Support, working to provide support for people in their 20s 30s and 40s who have lived with cancer and chronic cancer.

19:00 Ceinwin Giles talking on her personal experience of receiving treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma and challenges in finding peers her own age who share her experiences.

21:54 Managing early-life considerations alongside cancer. Career uncertainty, mental health in jobs, as well as fertility, relationships, and dating.

23:00 The difficult transition from child to adult care, in terms of having fewer people and services supporting as an adult. There are opportunities to improve the easing of this transition, especially following the pandemic where services are stretched.

25:20 Invitation to respond to the Airing Pain survey.

26:02 Summary of the key take home messages for children and young adults, and those caring for them.


This edition of Airing Pain was possible thanks to support from the British Pain Society and has been funded by Brownlie Charitable Trust, Children’s Aid Scotland, Langmuir Family Foundation, The Stafford Trust, the White Top Foundation and WCH Trust for Children.

Additional Resources:

Airing Pain 140: Childhood Pain – Adverse Experiences and Parental Relationships

Shine Cancer Support

Families and Children Resource Page

Airing Pain 118: Pain Management in Young People

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