Most young cancer patients actually want to talk about dying. So how do we best have these conversations? I spend a lot of my time looking at how we can get better at having tricky, end-of-life conversations with young people with serious illnesses like cancer. While most adolescents diagnosed with cancer will survive, around 15 to 20 per cent will not. These are 16-year-olds who may never get to graduate high school; 24-year-olds who may never get married or have kids. I wear two hats in my work. On one hand I’m a clinical psychologist, on the other I’m a researcher. But wearing my fancy research fedora, I can tell you there is good evidence that talking about end-of-life issues does not greatly increase young people’s anxiety. In fact, it can lead to young people feeling more heard, having their pain better managed, getting to make meaningful decisions about […]