Teens and young adults (TYAs) are caught between two different worlds of pediatric and adult oncology. Cancer in the teen and young adult years is an important problem that has gone unrecognized or is often only a peripheral concern. Cancer survival rates and long-term outcomes are projected to worsen for the 70,000 TYAs diagnosed each year without active interventions to address this multifaceted problem.
These severe consequences are unacceptable which are due in part to factors such as delays in the cancer diagnosis, low clinical trial participation, uncoordinated treatment and survivorship care, and limited psychosocial and support services available for this population.
TYAs deserve age-appropriate care by pediatric and adult practitioners that span over many decades. There are unique medical, psychosocial, and supportive care needs that are broader in scope and intensity for TYAs with cancer than such needs in younger and older patients because of the many emotional, developmental, and social changes and transitions that occur during this stage of life. That is why TYAs deserve a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary medical and psychosocial team that understands where they are coming from and where they are at.
UCLA Health is bridging this gap in care by being the first physical unit and program in the U.S. to cater to this population's needs. The UCLA Daltrey/Townshend Teen and Young Adult Cancer Program is addressing the medical, psychosocial, and supportive care needs of TYAs from the time of diagnosis through survivorship by providing the:
Presented by Dr. Casillas and Dr. Eradat at the UCLA Simms/Mann Center for Integrative Oncology: Insights Into Cancer 2012