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Last Updated: Saturday, 22 October 2005, 10:23 GMT 11:23 UK
Teens 'forgotten tribe' of cancer
NICE has called for more age specific cancer facilities
Teenagers are the "forgotten tribe" of cancer victims and more research is needed to stop them dying, the UK's first Professor of Teenage Cancer says.

Tim Eden - from Manchester's Christie hospital - was appointed on Thursday.

He called for more studies into a 50% increase in incidence of the disease in young people since 1975. Six teenagers a day are now diagnosed with cancer.

Professor Eden said there were too few trials on teenagers, and their survival rates had improved less than others.

Better health education for young people and health professionals about the physical warning signs of cancer was also needed, he said.

Cancer 'voice'

Some 2,200 adolescents die of cancer every year in the UK.

The Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT), which sets up specialist care units around the country, appointed Professor Eden.

We know it will result in a better quality of life for many thousands of teenagers
Myrna Whitestone
Teenage Cancer Trust

It has invested 2.5m over 10 years to fund his team.

It said the team would act as a voice on teenage cancer issues and increase research, international collaboration and clinical trial opportunities.

TCT chairwoman Myrna Whiteson said: "The appointment of a TCT teenage and young adult cancer chair highlights the growing importance of this field of medicine.

"It provides a focus to extend the parameters of knowledge within the field, and will hopefully lead to improved outcomes.

"We know it will result in a better quality of life for many thousands of teenagers."

'Age appropriate'

In August, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence said cancer services for children and young people had to be reformed.

The NHS advisory body issued guidance to standardise cancer treatment for young people in England and Wales.

Among its recommendations, it called for "age-appropriate facilities, provided as locally as possible".

Professor Eden will be based at the University of Manchester, Christie Hospital and Central Manchester & Manchester Children's University Hospitals NHS Trust.

He has worked in Christie Hospital's 13-bed Teenage Cancer Trust Unit since its founding in 1998.

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