- Not quite. Adolescents and young adults diagnosed with cancer between 15 & 39 have not seen the positive impacts like pediatric patients and older adults have experienced.
- The National Cancer Institute (NCI) reports that 70,000 adolescents and young adults between 15 and 39 years of age are diagnosed with cancer in the United States each year which is five times higher than pediatric patients.
- Wrong – let’s put it in perspective: in 1999 it was 60,000 adolescents and young adults being diagnosed with cancer each year so the number of incidences have increased; and
- Cancer is leading cause of disease-related death for this age group.
- Adolescents and young adults can either be considered “too young” or “too old” for what is standard care so they have no medical “home” and are frequently caught in a gap between pediatric and adult programs.
- It’s a little bit different when it comes to cancer. Hospital admission policies are inconsistent; some hospitals prohibit pediatric admissions for patients over the age of 18 while others have set their age limit at 21. Still others may determine the setting based on whether or not the patient presents with a “childhood” or “adult” cancer.
- Too often hospital policies prevent coordination of care between pediatric and adult specialists.
- Both medical institutions and physicians must be registered with the proper clinical trial group in order to administer the protocol.
- Most clinical trials that are open to adolescents and young adults are run through the Children’s Oncology Group which has strict requirements for membership.
- Adult trial groups do not actively recruit adolescents and young adults to participate in their trials citing the small volume of patients.
- NCI notes that “evidence suggests that some cancers in adolescents and young adults may have unique genetic and biological features.” However, researchers cannot access data and tumor samples which are typically collected through the clinical trial networks.
- This makes is difficult to not only understand reasons for stagnated survival rates but also improve adolescent and young adult cancer care.
- Adolescents and young adults are also at a unique time in their life when they are just beginning to move away from their parent’s home and establishing themselves as their own contributing member of society.
- They cannot easily uproot their lives to seek treatments only available at NCI-designated cancer centers due to work or school schedules, limited savings and financial stability, and/or where they may be currently raising their own children.
- Encourage providers to specialize in adolescent & young adult oncology;
- Create standards of care that require both pediatric and adult providers to consultant on the best course of treatment for patients between the ages of 15 and 39;
- Establish a fully-funded Adolescent & Young Adult program within the National Cancer Trials Network and work with existing trials to encourage more recruitment of 15-39 year olds; and
- Expand required reporting to better understand the long-term impact of cancer treatment when administered between 15 & 39 years of age including but not limited to fertility, chronic diseases, and risk of early death.
Sample Messages (Tweets/Facebook):
@theNCI reports 70K AYAs btwn 15 & 39 are diagnosed w/ cancer in U.S. each year which is 5X higher than pediatric patients #AYASurvival TWEET SHAREClick To Tweet
60K AYAs diagnosed w/ cancer in 1999. Now it’s 70K each year #AYASurvival TWEET SHAREClick To Tweet
Cancer is leading cause of disease-related death for adolescents & young adults between 15-39 years of age #AYASurvival TWEET SHAREClick To Tweet
AYAs have no medical “home” & are frequently caught in a gap between pediatric and adult programs #AYASurvival TWEET SHAREClick To Tweet
Most clinical trials open to AYAs are run through the Children’s Oncology Group which has strict requirements for membership #AYASurvival TWEET SHAREClick To Tweet
Share the graphics below with your social networks along with a link to our “FAQ: Survival Rates” page.