Adolescent Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Program
Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) refers to patients ages 15-39, which represents approximately 7 percent of all cancer diagnoses.
Our vision is to develop a comprehensive AYA cancer program, in partnership with John Stoddard Cancer Center, which will be recognized as a leader in community-based AYA cancer care in the Midwest and improve the care and survival of cancer patients in the AYA age range of 15-35.
Goals of an AYA Program
- Establish AYA as a distinct group of cancer patients, educate, and gain broad acceptance among our stakeholders.
- Increase awareness in the medical community.
- Educate the AYA population and improve patient experience by AYA specific care coordination.
- Improve our understanding of host, biologic and treatment factors by increasing local clinical trial enrollment and tumor banking.
- Develop standards of excellence for access to diagnostic, treatment, and follow-up care for AYA's in our community.
Why is AYA Important?
Despite center survival rates increasing dramatically for children, those older than 15 years of age and adults younger than 35 years of age, in the past 20 years there has been minimal improvements in adolescents and young adults.
The lack of progress in this age group can be attributed to poor participation in clinical trials, biological differences of the disease, limited resources including barriers to health care access, and fragmented treatment.
Nearly 70,000 patients in this age group are diagnosed with cancer each year in the United States.
Lymphomas, melanoma, testicular cancer, gynecologic malignancies, thyroid cancer, bone and soft tissue sarcomas, leukemias, CNS cancers and germ cell tumors account for 95% of cancers in this age group.
Age related issues in the AYA population include fertility, long-term side effects including the increased risk of future malignancies, insurance/financial issues, transportation, child care, psychosocial support and adherence to therapy.