Identifying and Addressing the Needs of Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer is the summary of a workshop convened by the Institute of Medicine's National Cancer Policy Forum in July 2013 to facilitate discussion about gaps and challenges in caring for adolescent and young adult cancer patients and potential strategies and actions to improve the quality of their care. The workshop featured invited presentations from clinicians and other advocates working to improve the care and outcomes for the adolescent and young adult population with cancer.
Cancer is the leading disease-related cause of death in adolescents and young adults. Each year nearly 70,000 people between the ages of 15 and 39 are diagnosed with cancer, approximately 8 times more than children under age 15. This population faces a variety of unique short- and long-term health and psychosocial issues, such as difficulty reentering school, the workforce, or the dating scene; problems with infertility; cardiac, pulmonary, or other treatment repercussions; and secondary malignancies. Survivors are also at increased risk for psychiatric conditions such as anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and suicide and may have difficulty acquiring health insurance and paying for needed care. Identifying and Addressing the Needs of Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer discusses a variety of topics important to adolescent and young adult patients with cancer, including the ways in which cancers affecting this group differ from cancers in other age groups and what that implies about the best treatments for these cancer patients. This report identifies gaps and challenges in providing optimal care to adolescent and young adult patients with cancer and to discuss potential strategies and actions to address them.
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