US doctors to establish special hospitals for teens with cancer

Doctors say teens and young adults sometimes lack insurance in a health care system traditionally divided into pediatrics and adults, or can be incorrectly referred to doctors who don't understand their conditions.

Oregon Health and Science University announced plans last year for a similar center, and the National Childhood Cancer Foundation's Children's Oncology Group has established an Adolescents and Young Adults Committee.

The National Cancer Institute has partnered with the Lance Armstrong Foundation to review the issue, and plans to release its findings this summer, according to the AP.

Efforts to target teens came from the fact that survival rates for teens and young adults have remained stagnant even as they have improved for the very young and older adults.

Doctors say targeting patients between the age of 15 to about 29 is as much about marketing as medicine. According to the National Childhood Cancer Foundation, about 95 percent of cancer patients younger than 15 are seen by pediatric oncologists, compared to about 20 percent of 15- to 19-year-olds.