Every day in the UK, 34 young adults are told they have cancer. Trekstock are working hard to meet the unique needs of this unsupported group.
Advances in the early detection and treatment of cancer have led to an increasing number of young adults in their 20s and 30s living with and beyond cancer, but at what cost?1 Young adults often develop physical and psychosocial late effects either as a direct result of their cancer diagnosis or its associated treatment.2
The benefits of physical activity: during and after treatment
There is a growing body of evidence showing the benefits of physical activity during and after cancer treatment. Physical activity has been linked to improved physical function and psychological wellbeing; reduced impact of side-effects; reduced risk of recurrence in some cancers and increased survival.3
89% are telling us they need psychological support and 71% want to become more physically active to regain their strength.
Currently 89% of our beneficiaries are telling us they need psychological support and 71% are asking us for help to become more physically active to regain their strength.
“The work Trekstock is doing to promote physical activity in young people with cancer is so vital – really excited to see the charity grow and reach more and more young adults in need.” Dr Gemma Pugh, Behavioural Science and Health Researcher, UCL.
Supporting young adults and tackling social isolation
Our programmes have been designed to tackle social isolation and support young adults to get moving again after facing cancer. Combining social and physical activity support, we provide unique opportunities to bring together people in their 20s and 30s together, to empower them to live better with cancer.
Meet Jolene, who epitomises many of the inspirational young adults that we support, by continuing to live life to the full despite dealing with the daily challenges and invisible imprints that cancer brings.
At the hospital where I am treated I seem to be the youngest person by about 20 years.
Jolene is 31, has a high-flying job at the Royal Opera House, loves to run half marathons and travel the world. She’s also living with Stage 4 melanoma, was given months to live eight years ago and currently receives three weekly immunotherapy treatment.
Our free 12-week exercise programme Renew, empowered Jolene to become more active by equipping her with the confidence and skills she needed to make positive, long-lasting changes. The programme is run in London by our funded level 4 Cancer Rehabilitation qualified instructors at the YMCA Central and includes 1-2-1 sessions at the gym and check-ins to help set and meet specific goals. After completing the programme, Jolene went on to not only summit the highest mountain in England for us, but continues to reap the benefits of physical activity and incorporate them into her daily life.
“The charity has been a great source of support for me. At the hospital where I am treated I seem to be the youngest person by about 20 years, but Trekstock has helped me connect with other young adults in a similar position to myself” says Jolene, 31.
1 UK, C.R., Cancer Survival by Age 2018.
2 Ness, K.K., et al., Frailty in childhood cancer survivors.Cancer, 2015. 121(10): p. 1540-1547.
Hudson, M.M., et al., Clinical ascertainment of health outcomes among adults treated for childhood cancer.Jama, 2013. 309(22): p. 2371-81.
Sieswerda, E., et al., High Hospitalization Rates in Survivors of Childhood Cancer: A Longitudinal Follow-Up Study Using Medical Record Linkage.PLoS One, 2016. 11(7): p. e0159518.
Brinkman, T.M., et al., Behavioral, Social, and Emotional Symptom Comorbidities and Profiles in Adolescent Survivors of Childhood Cancer: A Report From the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study.Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2016.
3 Demark-Wahnefried, W., B.M. Pinto, and E.R. Gritz, Promoting health and physical function among cancer survivors: potential for prevention and questions that remain.J Clin Oncol, 2006. 24(32): p. 5125-31.