The majority of patients seen by medical oncologists at non-pediatric hospitals are age 40 and older. Conversely, pediatric cancer centers generally treat patients who are age 14 and younger. This leaves a number of patients in a bit of a “no man’s land” — specifically, those who are diagnosed with cancer between the ages of 15 and 39 and do not fall within the area of focus of either adult or pediatric cancer centers. While these patients are hardly alone, they often feel that way, mainly because they don’t have many opportunities to connect with their peers. Moffitt Cancer Center is aiming to change all of that.
To help accomplish this, we’ve established an Adolescent & Young Adult (AYA) Program, which is focused on the unique concerns and emotional needs of young adults who are diagnosed with cancer. We are committed to providing patients ages 15 to 39 with specialized medical and psychosocial supportive care designed to help them achieve better outcomes and quality of life.
Specifically, Moffitt’s AYA Program is designed to help our adolescent and young adult patients:
- Manage the emotional aspects of living with cancer
- Access promising new treatment options through our robust clinical trials program
- Understand the importance of family planning and learn about their options
- Address their sexual health, fertility preservation and intimacy needs
- Discuss issues like college, employment, dating and marriage
- Connect with others who are facing similar situations in both informal settings and professionally led support groups
In addition to educational opportunities, group therapy and social events, Moffitt’s AYA Program incorporates a number of other important initiatives. Our researchers and clinicians are continually studying the biology of AYA cancers as compared to those that occur in older and younger patients with similar diagnoses. We are also evaluating promising new treatments that capitalize on the genetic changes in AYA cancer. To date, we’ve made significant progress, and we are working tirelessly to one day find a cure for all types and stages of cancer.
If you’d like more information about the Adolescent & Young Adult Program at Moffitt Cancer Center, call 1-888-663-3488 or complete a new patient registration form online to request an appointment. No referrals are necessary.