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Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology

Kirstin A. Williams
CJON 2013, 17(3), 292-296 DOI: 10.1188/13.CJON.292-296

Adolescent and young adult (AYA) oncology is caught between the pediatric and adult oncology settings and, therefore, poorly defined. Unfortunately, progress in overall survival for this age cohort has been stagnant while children and older adults have seen significant improvements. Reasons for the lack of progress are multifactorial, with biologic and psychosocial explanations. The current article will detail the unique features of AYA patients with cancer in terms of outcomes, psychosocial issues, and recommendations. Literature pertaining to AYA patients with cancer from 2006-2012 was reviewed. Findings suggested that recognizing AYAs as a subspecialty that requires holistic, multidisciplinary care may improve outcomes. Nurses at all levels are adept at providing holistic care and are, therefore, excellent potential advocates for a specialized care delivery model that AYAs with cancer deserve.

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