Hospitals for teenagers and young adults with cancer

When you are diagnosed with cancer as a young person, your needs are very different to those of either children or older adults. 

Young person in hospital

Meeting these unique needs requires special knowledge and skills, so within the NHS there are cancer services especially for teenagers and young adults. These services are aimed at young people between the ages of 16 and 24. Your choices depend partly on your age, but you should receive high quality care wherever this is provided, and no matter how old you are.

Under 16

You will most likely be treated in a children's cancer hospital, known as a Principal Treatment Centre (PTC). Some of your treatment may be given in a local hospital, designated as a Paediatric Oncology Shared Care Unit, or POSCU.

Children's Principal Treatment Centres (CCLG website)

Age 16 - 18

Your treatment should be provided at a Principal Treatment Centre (PTC) for teenagers and young adults. These are certain hospitals that have been recognised as specialist experts in TYA cancer. It might not be the hospital that is closest to your home, but it will be the one that is qualified to give you the best treatment.

Aged 19 - 24

You should have the option of having your treatment at a Principal Treatment Centre (PTC) for teenagers and young adults, or you can choose a hospital that has been approved to provide cancer care for young adults, within its overall adult cancer services (designated hospital, or DH). Your treatment would still be supervised by specialists at the PTC.

Where you are treated may also depend on the type of cancer you have, and your individual situtation, for example where you live.

Going into hospital

Information to help you prepare for going into hospital, including an A-Z of the staff you'll meet and tips on making hospital life easier

Going into hospital