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AYA cancer patients have unique challenges, needs, and concerns. The AYA oncology program is dedicated to addressing all of these.
"We are able to support our young adult patients and their family members in ways that are appropriate, individualized, and essential for this age group. For example, many patients are finishing high school, are in college, or have recently entered the workforce when they are diagnosed with cancer. When their treatment ends, there may be physical, emotional, or cognitive changes that place them on a different life trajectory. We have counselors and a Life Coach who are available to help them successfully navigate this new path. Patients may receive iPads or laptops to help them remain connected with school or work. In addition, they receive psychosocial support in a 'young adult' setting. They can receive therapy and counseling from a PhD psychologist at no personal cost, have access to movies and video game consoles while in the hospital for chemotherapy treatments, get to meet Cardinals players and attend sporting events. This type of support just doesn't exist in the world of adult medicine. Plus, you add in the compassion displayed by the nurses and other staff, and you begin to understand why this is a better setting for young adult and teen patients." - Robin Hanson, MD, PhD, Mercy Clinic pediatric hematologist-oncologist
Get information and links to specialized resources for adolescents and young adults coping with cancer. Download our guide.