Cancer In Teens

Disclaimer: This article has nothing on troubled teens, rather a physical health concern that can hit adolescents and can develop some emotional and mental problems to the teenager and the family as a whole. Please read on and hope that we have provided helpful information.

Tony Meyer, PsyD, a therapist, said “It’s great that our child is cured,” the parents of a troubled young cancer survivor. But now the question is, how can he find a life that is worth living?”

The incidence of cancer is increasing these past decades. Cancer is a rare and frequently fatal disease, but thanks to the advancement in science and research, the new treatment protocol is discovered which yield better prognosis and hopefully, a cure. Society associates cancer with older and unhealthy individuals; however, this is not always the case, there is some cancer that is often seen in adolescent to teenager years.


Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the capability to invade and spread to other parts of the body. According to the cancer society, cancer in adolescents usually starts between the age of 15 and 19. The kind of disease that develops in adolescent period is often due to the DNA changes in the cells that took place early in life or even before birth and not strongly linked to lifestyle and environmental risk factors. These are the cancers that are seen in adolescent patients.

Fact: “There is no way to erase the understandable concern that one’s cancer may recur.” – Shelley Johns, PsyD


This type of cancer starts at the lymph nodes and other lymph tissues such as thymus and tonsils. It can also affect the bone marrow and other organs.

The two main types of lymphoma are: Non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin lymphoma

Hodgkin lymphoma is commonly seen in two age groups: early adulthood ages 15 to 40 and late adulthood ages 56 and above while Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is less common in teens as compared to Hodgkin lymphoma.


Leukemia happens when there are large numbers of abnormal white blood cells which fills the bone marrow and sometimes, leaks to the bloodstream. Due to the overproduction of defective blood cells, it decapitates the body’s immune response against infection.  Leukemia also results in bleeding, anemia, bone pain and can spread to other sites such as testicles, brain, spleen, lymph nodes and liver. Treatment of choice for leukemia is chemotherapy, stem cell transplants, and bone marrow transplants as well as radiation for some instances.


Karen Fasciano, PsyD said “Cancer disrupts many aspects of young adulthood such as family planning, careers, relationships, sexuality, and sexual health.”

Testicular cancer

It is the most common cancer for males ages 15 to 35. Testicular cancer is curable if caught and treated early. Males are advised to regularly examine their testicles since the first symptom of testicular cancer is a lump in the testicle or swollen and large testicle.

Bone and soft tissue cancers(Osteosarcoma)

It is the most common type of bone cancer. Teenagers with this cancer usually start having symptoms during their growth spurts. The occurrence of osteosarcoma is normally seen in teenagers who are taller than average. Symptoms associated with osteosarcoma are swelling, pain and lump in the arm or leg. Some patients experience pain at night or during exercise. This cancer’s primary tumor is often seen in the bones around the knees and usually metastasize to the bones and lungs. Like any other cancer, the treatment for osteosarcoma is chemotherapy and surgery. Surgery involves removing the bone or limb. Some surgeons might opt to save the leg from amputation by filling the space with bone graft or metal rod.

Ovarian Cancer 

In general, ovarian cancer is common in older women; however, germ cell tumor ovarian cancer is more common in teens and young women. The early stage of an ovarian cancer doesn’t cause any symptoms, but some patients feel abnormal bloating, belly pain and urinary symptoms.


According to studies, being inflicted by debilitating condition such as cancer can lead to depression, anxiety, and excessive stress. It would be helpful to ask for counseling from a mental health professional to assist you in dealing with the malady.