The concept of friendship in adolescents with cancer: Reflections and experiences

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Cancer can erupt in an adolescent's life, damaging his or her multidimensional balance with its burden of physical suffering, changes in appearance, and anxiety, interrupting their activities, keeping them away from school, and isolating them socially. It is crucially important for adolescents with cancer to be able to feel the same as before, to feel they belong to a group of schoolmates. This is not always easy to achieve. Their peers sometimes lack the necessary resources to treat adolescents with cancer as normal ones, responding instead with pity or avoidance. This article discusses the concept of friendship in adolescents with cancer, based on direct experience of being with them, personal reflections, and texts chosen and shared with the patients, as part of the cultural activities dedicated to adolescents and young adults with cancer at the Youth Area of the Centro di Riferimento Oncologico, Aviano, and the Youth Project at the Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Milan, Italy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-11
Number of pages7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


  • Adolescents
  • cancer
  • coping
  • friendship
  • psychosocial needs
  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • Friends/*psychology
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Neoplasms/*psychology
  • Pain/psychology
  • Peer Group
  • Social Support
  • Young Adult


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