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Teenagers and Young Adults with cancer

This page was last updated: October 14th, 2021

Teenagers and Young Adults face a whole host of additional challenges when living with cancer, and the Teenagers and Young Adults (TYA) service in Cornwall is here to support you holistically in any way we can.

What we do

We work with patients aged 16 to 24 with a diagnosis of cancer to provide age-appropriate treatments and facilities. We will also support their parents and the people close to them. When you join the service, we’ll talk to you and your support network, including teachers and colleagues etc. to make sure that you receive what you want and need from our service.

Who we are

Nicola Clapson is our Specialist Nurse for Teenagers and Young Adults with Cancer – she is part is funded by local charity LARF Cornwall, which is committed to providing help and financial support to young people with cancer and their families. We have a Clinical Psychologist – Dr Louise Brown and a Specialist Physiotherapist – Mark McCaffrey. Dr Fiona Minear is our Clinical Lead and we also work closely with the paediatric and adult Oncology and Haematology teams. With your consent, we will refer you to our Young Lives vs Cancer (formerly CLIC Sargent) social worker Anna Regan and we also work closely with other local and national charities.

Who will treat you

The clinical and medical needs of teenagers and young adults with cancer are met by Paediatrics and Adult Services with the support of the TYA service:

  • Under 16s will be seen by the Paediatric Team
  • 16 to 18 year olds can choose to be treated in either Paediatrics or Adult Services (we’ll give you guidance on this to help you make a decision)
  • Over 18s will be treated by Adult Services.

Where we help

You can choose to be treated locally or at a hospital of your choice, but you may need to travel to other hospitals if they offer a specialised service that you need.

Area 61 is our Teenage and Young Adult unit at the University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust. This is a principle treatment centre (PTC) which provides specialist facilities for young people.

If you choose to be treated locally, you’ll have access to similar services and support as those attending the Principal Treatment Centre and your care needs and treatment plan will be discussed with the Bristol team as the TYA teams have close links across the South West.

Your guide to your cancer information

Your guide to your cancer information: Why it’s important and what you need to know (Opens in a new window)

TYA Peer Support Group

We run a teenagers and young adult’s cancer support group, and we meet every six weeks at various venues in Cornwall for a get-together over dinner.

We also arrange other social events throughout the year. It’s an opportunity to share experiences and support, and have some fun! Ask Nic or Lou for details of the next event.

One of our recent TYA socials

One of our recent TYA socials

Services available to teenagers and young adults

We can help you with a range of services and support:

Support and Information

The TYA team is on hand to provide emotional, social and practical support to help young people continue with their everyday lives; through diagnosis, treatment and beyond, including:

  • An additional link with your key worker, clinical nurse specialist and medical team
  • Counselling and psychology services
  • Physiotherapy services
  • Peer support groups and social activities (contact Nic or Lou for details)
  • Information and signposting to other useful services
  • Support and information for patients, and their friends and family

Finances, benefits, education and work

  • Financial grants
  • Help applying for benefits or grants
  • Advice on financial assistance from a CLIC Sargent Social Worker
  • If you want to go to college or university, we can help you stay, or get back, on track


We want to make sure our TYA patients have access to age-appropriate environments when they come for treatment, appointments and support. At the Royal Cornwall Hospital we have some areas with dedicated TYA facilities.

The Cove

We have a purpose-designed room available for young people with cancer to use, as an alternative area to wait for appointments or results, for meeting with health professionals or for group meetings with young people. The room has a large flat screen TV, direct access to a small garden area, comfortable sofas and chairs and a retro-looking digital Jukebox.

The Headland Unit

We have two dedicated purpose-designed TYA rooms in the Headland Unit, our day-case clinic for anti-cancer treatments and procedures. They are equipped with a flat screen TV, DVD player/DVDs and games consoles for your use during treatment.

Lowen Ward

We have two dedicated purpose-designed TYA rooms on Lowen Ward, our inpatient area for young people having treatments and care requiring an overnight stay. They are equipped with a flat screen TV, DVD player/DVDs and games consoles for your use during treatment.

Referring you to other services

There are a whole host of other services designed to help people who are living with cancer, such as the wig service, support groups, counsellors, psychologists, physiotherapist, occupational therapists and dietitians.
If we can help with any of the above, just speak to our TYA specialist nurses
Nicola Clapson on 07789 922279 or

TYA Contacts

Specialist Nurses

Nicola Clapson on 07789 922279 or

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