More than 72,000 adolescents and young adults (ages 15 to 39) learn they have cancer each year in the United States (http://www.cancer.gov/ncicancerbulletin/072611/page2). In addition, there are an estimated 1.4 million cancer survivors in this age group. Young adults with cancer have unique needs and often feel out of place in clinics that primarily serve either pediatric patients or older adults.
Thankfully, over the past several years, there has been more research and advocacy for people with cancer in this age group. National Cancer Institute, ASCO, Livestrong, and other organizations have increased efforts to research best treatment protocols for young adult patients, to educate providers about best practices and to tailor psychosocial support and education to better meet the needs of young adults. Young survivors have been actively involved in these efforts.
I’m Too Young for This! (www.i2y.org or www.stupidcancer.org) has great information and opportunities for young cancer survivors to connect. www.livestrong.org is another great resource for young patients and survivors. Another website, www.seventyk.org has information about how to advocate for best practices and quality care for this group of patients and survivors.
At MSTI this fall, Jeni Emerizy and Megan McCulley will be leading a 6 week group for young adult cancer patients and survivors. Meetings will be on Mondays from September 17th – October 22nd from 4:30 – 5:30 at MSTI-Boise. For more information about the program, please feel free to call Jeni at 381-3978 or Megan at 381-1922.