Friendships. Relationships. Exams. Parties. Hormones. Travel? University? Kids? Being a teenager or young adult can be difficult, but should also be super exciting. There are so many important decisions, that first sweet smell of freedom. Independence. Then you hear the three words you least expected: “you have cancer”, and all those plans, hopes and dreams threaten to come crashing down.

Each year, around 2,300 young people aged 15-24 are diagnosed with cancer. Imagine being a teenager or young adult and having to juggle the unique challenges that this time brings – on top of dealing with a cancer diagnosis and the huge impact of treatment.

Cancer is different in young people. They have very different needs to younger children and older adults facing this disease, so they need a special, tailored approach to improving diagnosis, treatment, care, and support.

The far-reaching impact of cancer does not end when treatment ends. Quality of life and learning to live well with cancer is vital too. The impact of a cancer diagnosis can continue for many years.

We must raise awareness of the distinct challenges that this age group face and make a difference for young people with cancer. That's why we are launching Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Awareness Month this April.

So young people can share their stories and be listened to. So that together we can tackle the challenges and make a change.

Mat Cottle-Shaw, CEO at the Bone Cancer Research Trust, said:

Around 88 young people every year will hear the devastating news that they have primary bone cancer. This April, we're joining forces with charities from across the UK to launch the first ever Teenage and Young Adult Awareness Month and represent young people who have been diagnosed with this brutal form of cancer, to ensure their voice is heard. This unique collaborative approach offers a fantastic opportunity to spread more awareness than ever before, as we all share a common goal of supporting young people who sadly face a cancer diagnosis.

Cancer charities from across the UK have come together for the first Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Awareness Month. Throughout April, we will be sharing young people's experiences of cancer, raising awareness of the unique needs of this age group, showing how we support young people and working to improve their experience through specialised services and research, highlighting where change is urgently needed.

The charities involved are: Bone Cancer Research Trust, Brain Tumour Research Group, Cancer Research UK, Children with Cancer UK, Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group, Dragonfly Cancer Trust, Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, The Little Princess Trust, Sarcoma UK, Solving Kids Cancer, Teenage Cancer Trust, Teenagers and Young Adults with Cancer (TYAC), Teens Unite Fighting Cancer, The Tom Bowdidge Foundation, Trekstock and Young Lives vs Cancer.

Search #TYCAM to follow Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Awareness Month and find out how the charities are raising awareness and how you can get involved this April.