Spotlight thrown on rare cancers

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The Independent Online

A documentary following one teenager's fight against cancer will highlight the plight of people diagnosed with rarer types of the disease which have been neglected by researchers and health services.

Alex: A Life Fast Forward, to be aired on BBC3 this Thursday, follows Alex Lewis, from Oxfordshire, who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, shortly before his 18th birthday through to his death four years later. Bone cancers are rare, affecting around 450, mainly young people aged between 10 and 24, in Britain and Ireland every year. But while the survival rates for people suffering from common cancers have improved significantly over the last 30 years, for people like Alex, nothing much has changed.