While most of the Little Fighters Cancer Trust beneficiaries are toddlers or children, we also have some teenage warriors, and this information would be beneficial for them….
The middle – an area many adolescent and young adults (AYAs) with cancer find themselves.
Facing cancer at the cusp of adulthood presents many obstacles unique to this age group, including the financial impacts of cancer, disconnection from peers, loss of independence and interrupted education and career, yet young cancer patients and survivors are studied much less than other patient subsets.
While their physical and emotional needs tend to be quite different, many institutions fail to focus on the specific needs of AYAs who don’t fall under either the pediatric or adult checklist.
In this week’s episode of CURE Talks Cancer, we spoke with a young adult who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, as well as a child life specialist about a program at CHOC Children’s Hospital designed to address the specific needs of AYAs affected by cancer.
Loss of fertility as a major source of distress for adolescent and young adult cancer patients many of whom receive therapies toxic to the ovaries and testes, leading to problems with reproductive health. The news of possible infertility paired with lack of emotional support can have a damaging impact on psychosocial health.
The cancer diagnosis was easier to accept than I could have hoped. But the pain I felt when hearing that treatment would leave me infertile is impossible to describe. ~ Bronwen Garand-Sheridan, cancer survivor