Don’t be afraid to ask questions
and tell people what’s
important to you.


Where you’ll be treated

Aged 16 to 18

You should be treated at a hospital that specialises in treating young adults with cancer. The unit where you’ll be treated is called a TYA (teenagers and young adults) unit or young people’s unit.


Go here for a list of specialist TYA units.

Aged 19 to 24

You should have a choice of where you’re treated. You can choose between your nearest specialist TYA (teenagers and young adults) unit, or the adult cancer service at a hospital which is approved to treat young adults.


Go here for a list of specialist TYA units.


Go here for a list of adult services approved to treat young adults.

Long or short stay?

If you’ve got a fast-growing blood cancer like acute leukaemia, there’ll be times when you need to stay in hospital for a few weeks. For other blood cancers, you may stay at home and just visit hospital for treatment. Your doctor or nurse will tell you what’s likely for you.

Choosing a treatment centre

Here are some questions to think about if you have a choice about where you’re treated. You might want discuss them with your family, doctor or nurse.

Will I need to stay in hospital for treatment?

  • Will it be easy for people to visit me?

Will I be treated as an outpatient (no overnight stays)?

  • How will I get to my appointments?
  • Is there someone to drive me?
  • Will I feel well enough to travel by public transport?
  • Can I get financial support for travel?

How old will the other patients be?

  • How do I feel about being treated with older people?
  • Would I prefer to be treated with people my age?

What’s the treatment centre like?

  • Does it have free wifi?
  • Can I watch TV or play games there?
  • Does it have a hangout space?


What services does it offer?

  • Are there youth support workers?
  • Do they offer counselling?
  • Do they organise events like pamper sessions and trips out?
  • Will there be support for my family?

I had to travel, which was
a pain, but it was worth it.
It felt kind of like home.

Emily, treated at a TYA unit

I didn’t want to commute
for an hour to have chemo,
there and back.

Hinna, treated at her local hospital

Your healthcare team

Your team is here to support you – not just with the medical stuff, but anything you’re worried about.


The person who’s in charge of your treatment. For blood cancer, usually a consultant haematologist, a doctor who specialises in treating blood diseases.

Clinical nurse specialist (CNS)

Your main point of contact – someone who’ll answer your questions, get to know you and treat you as a person, not just a patient.

Social worker

On hand to explain your rights, arrange financial support for you and your family, or put you in touch with organisations that can help.


A trained listener who’ll help you talk through your thoughts and feelings and support you with the emotional effects of cancer.

Youth support worker

Someone who’ll help you keep your social life going and stay connected to people, even if you‘re stuck in hospital for a while.


Trained to advise people on problems with nutrition – the person to see if treatment makes eating and drinking difficult.


Helps you get back on track If you’re having trouble with your mobility. Can also advise you on how to exercise safely.

Occupational therapist (OT)

A problem-solver who can help if treatment makes it difficult to do everyday things like getting dressed or climbing stairs.