Every four weeks, Anna Stephens comes to Seattle Children’s Hospital for chemotherapy. But she’s not a child. Stephens is 23 years old, and she’s one of thousands of young people with cancer who wind up being treated in facilities that typically deal with much younger or much older patients.
Seattle Children’s Hospital is opening a new cancer unit Sunday specifically designed for teens and young adults.
When young cancer patient age 15 to 29 goes in for treatment, they end up either in a pediatric or adult facility. A designated place for this age group could play a crucial role in their survival, according to Dr. Becky Johnson.
Fewer teens are smoking and drinking alcohol. That’s one of the bright spots from a recent survey of youth in Washington state. But the results also show that a large number of them are struggling with mental health issues.