Moffitt’s Adolescent & Young Adult (AYA) Program addresses the unique concerns and emotional needs of young adults with cancer. We are committed to providing patients ages 15 to 39 with specialized medical and psychosocial clinical care.
What is AYA?
AYA, an acronym for Adolescent & Young Adult, refers to someone diagnosed with cancer between the ages of 15-39. About 70,000 adolescents and young adults receive an unexpected cancer diagnosis every year*. A nationwide focus is emerging to increase the awareness of the unique issues AYA patients’ face, to better understand and address these issues and to increase survival rates.
Moffitt’s AYA Program exists to help young adult patients and their families:
Manage the emotional toll of their cancer
Receive access to cutting edge clinical trials and state-of-the-art care
Discuss and understand the cancer treatment and its fertility risks and options.
Connect with others who are also facing cancer and coping with similar issues
AYA Program Mission
Improve the cancer care experience and longterm effects for adolescent and young adults with cancer at Moffitt Cancer Center by ensuring all AYA patients and survivors have access to resources, services and events specific to their age.
AYA Program Goals
Advocacy: Support national and global policies that will transform cancer care for AYA survivors.
Fertility: Educate AYA patients on the risks of infertility and the options and resources for fertility preservation.
Navigation: offer individualized assistance to patients, families, and caregivers to help overcome system barriers.
Patient Education: Create and maintain current educational and informational materials for adolescents and adults with cancer and their families.
Psychosocial: To assess, intervene, and advocate for the psychosocial needs of AYA cancer patients
Research: Improve clinical outcomes through clinical trials, research and coordinated efforts across diagnoses
Social Events: Create social opportunities for AYA’s with cancer to benefit from peer-to-peer experience and support
Survivorship: Promote health and well-being for post treatment cancer survivors by addressing physical, vocational, emotional, social, and spiritual needs
“It is nice being able to meet other young adults with problems similar to mine and to know that I’m not the only one dealing with these issues.”
“Being diagnosed with cancer put my family plans on hold. On top of it all, at the age of 32, I felt like I needed to ask my mom what to do because I have never really been sick and I didn’t know how I was going to pay for this.”
“When I heard I had cancer I immediately thought of my 5-year-old son. I didn’t know if I should tell him and if I did tell him, I had no idea what to say. For the first time, I felt isolated because I didn’t know who could help me.”
“I didn’t know if I wanted to meet with other people my age who had cancer. It was surprisingly fun. It was worth it and I would recommend it to any young adult dealing with a cancer diagnosis.”