Around 250 children, aged up to 14 years, lose their lives to cancer every year in the UK. In addition, around 50 young adults (aged 15-19 years) die every year from cancers diagnosed before their fifteenth birthday. In the UK, cancer is the most common cause of death in children aged one to 14 years. Brain tumours claim more lives than any other childhood cancer, accounting for more than a third of all childhood cancer deaths
Here at Chestnut Tree we have always cared for children with a cancer diagnosis, though in the majority of cases, it is only in the later stages. But as the general outlook for children with cancer improves, with more than eight out of ten children living for at least five years, we would like to raise awareness of our services and encourage both families and health professionals to contact us soon after diagnosis.
Families will have the opportunity to use both our community services and also our facilities at Chestnut Tree House, where the family can enjoy time together away from the cancer and all that it brings. Children and siblings can also enjoy our activity days, organised by the staff here at Chestnut Tree.
The team here will be involved earlier on in the process, which gives the opportunity for the young person themselves to have some control over the last stages of their life. Some children choose to die at home and use the Chestnut Tree community team to support this.
Then, when the time comes, our team can be available for end of life care, and be able to meet the diverse needs that arise – whether this is in the child’s home or at the House, and continue to support the family through the bereavement process.
For further information about Chestnut Tree and the care we provide please visit www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk.