Critical Mass is a community-powered advocacy organization on a mission to transform the care and treatment of adolescents and young adults living with cancer. For more than ten years, we have brought together a diverse group of stakeholders – patients, advocates, clinicians, researchers, and representatives from government organizations and professional societies – who have all seen first-hand the devastation cancer can cause in the life of a young person.
Through collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and raising our voices together, Critical Mass breaks down barriers and promotes collaboration on initiatives that can change the way adolescent and young adult cancer patients and survivors, a population that has been overlooked and underserved for too long, receives care.
Within just ten years, Critical Mass rapidly advanced the care and treatment of adolescents and young adults impacted by cancer with the addition of:
- Adolescent and young adult focused educational resources and scientific publications;
- Additional clinical trials specific to adolescent and young adult patient care and needs;
- Guidelines for adolescent and young adult cancer care, including recommended components of an adolescent and young adult program and training professionals;
- Professional society, journals, and a host of regional meetings have emerged to exclusively address adolescent and young adult topics, and
- Developed “Mission Control,” an easy to use personal “look no further” tool for adolescent and young adults specific to the patient’s zip code.
But the work is far from over. More research and focus on cancer care including treatment and services specific to adolescents and young adults with cancer is urgently needed. There is no other organization dedicated to all adolescent and young adult cancer issues, a population that has been overlooked and underserved for far too long. Which is why in 2016, Critical Mass made the decision to re-locate operations to Washington, DC.
Our focus has shifted but our mission is still the same. Critical Mass is the sole unifying voice representing the adolescent and young adult cancer community; clarify and quantify the barriers facing 15-39 year olds with cancer and working with policy makers to develop strategies to overcome them.