When teenagers develop cancer it is often difficult to diagnose the condition which is why treatment may start too late. It is estimated that 1 in 333 children develops a malignancy by age 20, however it is the age group of 15 to 19 years that is most vulnerable and is seen to have the most cancer related deaths.
The problem with teens is that they are reluctant to or unable to communicate with other changes that may be taking place and which they may be embarrassed to speak out about.
This is often the reason that diagnosis may not be made little much later than would have been the case in younger children.
In the event the teens that have been diagnosed with cancer will have to receive more intensive treatment that may have to last longer and which may have lifelong consequences.
There is also the fact that teens are far less likely to participate in clinical trials, which is why they are unable to benefit from the advancements made in the field of cancer recently.
Also it is not clear what sort of treatment a teen should receive; in adult settings following protocols set for older adults or at pediatric medical centers where they may typically receive treatment along with toddlers.