Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology
How it works
Young people living with a cancer diagnosis, require tailored support that addresses their specific medical, emotional, social, and developmental needs. Crayon provides both medical and radiation oncology services at our unit. All in a welcoming and accessible environment.
The social withdrawal of both patients, parents and siblings is an often-neglected side-effect of a cancer journey. Crayon emphasizes the need to continue everyday activities and the fact that life goes on despite cancer.
That’s why we encourage and accommodate AYA (Adolescent and Young Adult) patients access to school, studies, social and religious activities.
Some of the challenges
AYAs are in a distinct phase of life characterised by transitions, identity development, and independence. They require tailored support that addresses their specific emotional, social, academic and developmental needs.
Delayed or miss diagnosis
AYAs often experience delayed diagnosis due to the misconception that cancer is rare in this age group. Symptoms might be mistaken for other conditions, leading to a delay in appropriate medical attention and treatment.
The treatment protocols for AYAs may differ from those used for children or older adults. Finding the right balance between aggressive treatments and preserving quality of life becomes a critical consideration.
AYA patients may experience heightened anxiety, depression, and social isolation due to the disruption cancer brings to their education, career goals, relationships, self-identity and fertility.
Lack of age-appropriate support systems
AYAs may find it challenging to connect with peers who might not have a desired understanding of cancer, and often ascribe and define it in context of stigma. They may feel isolated within support groups designed for either children or older adults, emphasizing the need for dedicated AYA support programs.
AYAs face long-term survivorship issues, such as fertility preservation, potential delayed onset late effects of treatment, mental health concerns, and challenges in transitioning back to regular life after completing treatment.