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Support for Teens and Young Adults With Cancer

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AYA Workgroup_edit_small.jpgThere never is a good time to be diagnosed with cancer, especially when you're a teen or young adult.

Adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients fall in the gap of cancer care at most facilities. They're too old to pass time in the pediatric playroom and too young to relate with a waiting room filled with much older patients. April 4-10 marks National Young Adult Cancer Awareness Week®, a week recently recognized and proclaimed by Houston's Mayor Annise Parker.

AYA Resources at M. D. Anderson

For the more than 70,000 young adults who are diagnosed with cancer each year, M. D. Anderson is paving the way to improve care for these patients. Most recently, M. D. Anderson established an AYA Advisory Council of patients and staff. The council meets monthly to discuss ways to improve the programs and services for young patients at M. D. Anderson.

Cancer180_pinball.jpgIn addition, the Children's Cancer Hospital at M. D. Anderson has an AYA program that focuses on the specific medical, educational and emotional needs of this patient population. To provide a social outlet for young adult patients to connect with one another, Anderson Network's Cancer180 program was created. On March 26, Cancer180 kicked off the young adult awareness week by hosting an evening at Joystix, where AYA patients competed against each other on their favorite arcade games.

facebook_icon_15.jpgStay in touch with Cancer 180 events, join Young Cancer Connection on Facebook


Where to Find Information

If you happen to be at M. D. Anderson during the first week of April, resource tables will be set up throughout M. D. Anderson with information about the various programs and services for AYA patients. Tables will be located at:

•    Wednesday, April 7, Clark Clinic lobby (The Aquarium), 9 a.m.-noon
•    Friday, April 9, skybridge entrance on Floor 3 of Main Building, 9 a.m.-noon

Resource information also will be available at the Robin Bush Child and Adolescent Clinic, Stem Cell Transplant Clinic, Leukemia Center and Lymphoma and Myeloma Center throughout the week.

Rise to Action Conference for Young Adults

Wrapping up the week will be Houston's first Rise to Action Conference on April 10, hosted by M. D. Anderson, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Children's Cause for Cancer Advocacy.

The free, all-day conference will feature experts and young adult survivors from M. D. Anderson and other area organizations. Breakout sessions will cover topics such as advocacy, employment, family and peer relationships and education.

Although the need is still great for providing more access to care and support for the AYA population, conferences such as Rise to Action and organizations such as M. D. Anderson and other non-profits are leading the way to close the gap and provide the best care to these patients.

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