Improve the awareness and diagnosis of cancer in young adults.

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Our precious daughter, Jessica, died on the 20th December 2020. She was 27 years old.

She had been ill for 6 months, but the spring/summer lockdown meant face to face consultations with her GP were restricted and numerous antibiotics were prescribed, even in the absence of a physical examination. Jessica was told for months she was suffering from Long Covid despite two negative coronavirus tests. She was finally diagnosed with cancer on the 26th November. Her dependency upon oxygen from this date meant she did not leave the hospital or ever return home. We discovered that Jess had stage 4 adenocarcinoma with an unknown primary. It had spread throughout her body, to her spine, liver, stomach, lungs and lymph nodes. We are obviously devastated. Our world has been shattered.

Adults aged 25-49 contribute around a tenth of all new cancer cases, with double the incidence in females than males.

Currently this age group are not prioritised although many cancers are aggressive and require immediate treatment. Despite being too young to be ignored they often are. They are the forgotten generations. Too old for their diagnosis to be truly shocking and too young to be deemed at serious risk. Covid is undoubtedly exacerbating the situation.

This government must ensure no more young lives are tragically and unnecessarily lost.

  • Funding must be ring-fenced to allow GP’s to respond with utmost urgency in referring ALL patients.
  • Steps must be taken to facilitate an increase in safe face to face consultations.
  • Once referred, hospitals require more specialist staff and equipment to make the immediate and necessary diagnosis.
  • Campaigns are essential to increase awareness of cancer in people in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s.

Dealing with the real risk of Covid should not create a higher risk of cancer death in our younger generations. Action must be taken.