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Psychosocial

Adolescents and young adults (AYA) with cancer have often been described as a medically underserved population, falling through the gap between pediatric and adult oncology. As AYAs transition from childhood or adulthood the normal concerns they may have – development of body image, dating, separating from parents, career and education decisions – are compounded when they are faced with cancer. AYA cancer patients may face issues such as infertility, loss of employment/breaks in education due to treatment, increased dependence on parents, and other health concerns that may be exceptionally difficult for this group to cope with.

Source: Zebrack B, Hamilton R, Smith A. Psychosocial Outcomes and Service Use Among Young Adults With Cancer. Semin Oncol. 2009; 36:468-477.

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AYA patients are less likely to enroll in clinical trials than children or adults due to inadequate health insurance, lack of referrals and many clinicians don’t know of AYA trials. AYA participation is crucial to finding effective therapies. Many comprehensive cancer centers, university med centers, and pediatric centers- support AYA trials.

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