Cambridge cancer centre for teenagers opened by duchess

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Media captionThe duchess is honorary patron of the Teenage Cancer Trust

The Duchess of York has officially opened a cancer treatment centre for young people in Cambridge.

The Teenage Cancer Trust unit is at Addenbrooke's Hospital and is now the main treatment centre for 14 to 24-year-old cancer patients in the region.

The duchess, the trust's patron, said the centre allowed people of the same age to sit down and discuss what they are going through.

The 11-bed £3.6m centre has treated 60 patients since opening in February.

Dr Helen Hatcher, consultant oncologist at Cambridge University Hospitals, said: "Having somewhere where young people can feel more relaxed in their environment when going through stressful and debilitating treatment has made an enormous difference to them and their families."

'Not forgotten'

The duchess was joined by her daughter Princess Eugenie and Harry Judd from the band McFly at the opening ceremony.

Image caption Harry Judd and Princess Eugenie joined the duchess at the unit's official opening

Alistair Wheeler, 23, and from Ipswich, was admitted to the ward two months ago with terminal cancer.

He said: "It's nice knowing that other people of the same age are here and the social zone is absolutely fantastic."

Mr Judd has supported the Teenager Cancer Trust since his best friend was diagnosed with cancer at 11.

"I've seen it first hand, not only the effects of cancer but the effects on a young person," he said.

"It's a hard enough time in your life already."

Simon Davies, chief executive of the Teenage Cancer Trust, said: "Today is a momentous day for the charity.

"Not only is this our 25th Teenage Cancer Trust unit but it is also the first in East Anglia."

Around six people aged between 13 and 24 are diagnosed with cancer every day in the UK, according to the Teenager Cancer Trust.

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