I never expected to be diagnosed with cancer at the age of 21. It’s one of those diseases that you never imagine you’ll get when you’re young until it happens to you. And I can tell you that some movies and TV shows are way more honest than others about how it feels to get cancer as a young person (meaning anything from infancy and childhood up to the age of 30). But some on-screen depictions do get into the raw and difficult reality of what facing this illness means for a young person.

Of course, the experiences of a young child are very different from those of a teenager, and those are very different from the experiences of a twenty-something young adult. But it is shocking that, despite so many advances in medicine and science, cancer can still happen to anyone.  Nobody — young or old — should have to go through such a horrific illness, let alone lose their life because of it. If the cure for cancer were found in our lifetime, the world would be such a better place.

Here is a list of some of the movies and TV shows that have, in my opinion, most honestly shown what it’s like to go through cancer as a young person. They touch on different aspects of the unfortunate experience and deal with different age groups and different types of cancer, but they have all depicted some very candid situations worth watching.

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