Symposium on adolescents and young adults with cancer held to promote awareness

Adolescents and young adults battling cancer have appealed for public understanding of the ordeal that they are going through.

Patients, their families, and doctors have taken part in a symposium to coincide with the annual AYA week to promote awareness of young cancer patients.

The AYA generation includes people from 15 to 39 years of age.

About 20,000 people in that age group are diagnosed with cancer each year in Japan.

The symposium was held on Saturday in Shibuya ward in Tokyo to discuss the issues that concern AYA generation patients. One of the themes was the challenges in getting palliative care at home.

A woman who lost a family member to cancer addressed an issue that many are experiencing.

She said that patients who are 40 years old or older and young children are eligible to receive public financial support under the government nursing care systems.

She said the government pays for nursing bed rental fees and daily care support expenses.

Whereas for adolescent and young adult patients, she said it is not easy to receive such support and care.

Todoroki Hiromi, a member of a group of people going through such an ordeal said "These are young people who are about to undertake major events in their life like marriage and starting a career. Some need financial help."

Todoroki said raising public awareness will eventually lead to better support.