Cancer in young people

Around 1,000 young people aged 15-25 are diagnosed with cancer in Australia every year. There are two main groups of cancer that young people get:

  • Cancer of the blood cells (leukaemias) and the lymph glands (lymphomas)
  • Solid tumours such as bone and brain tumours


Leukaemia is cancer of the white blood cells (WBCs). Bone marrow and other blood forming organs produce abnormal numbers of white blood cells, stopping the production of normal blood cells. Some common leukaemias in young people are:


Lymphoma is cancer of the lymphatic system, which is part of the immune system that protects the body against infection and disease. Some common lymphomas in young people are:

CNS (Central Nervous System) Tumours

CNS tumours are cancers of the brain and spinal cord.

Bone and soft tissue tumours

Cancer of the bones often starts in the ends of bones where the bone tissue forms as the young person grows. Some common bone and soft tissue sarcomas in young people are:

Other cancers or tumours

Find more information about other types of cancer.