Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Oncology Program
Serving Patients Ages 15 - 30 with Leukemia and Lymphoma
Each year, nearly 20,000 adolescents and young adults are diagnosed with leukemia or lymphoma. When facing cancer, this age group often confronts different personal, psychosocial and medical challenges than younger children and older adults with the same diagnosis. That's why the University of Chicago Medicine created the Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Oncology Program -- a collaborative program offering coordinated care for young adults ages 15-30 with leukemia or lymphoma.
We help adolescents and young adults take an active role in their care, to navigate the medical system as well as to understand and make decisions regarding their treatments. Our cancer specialists have the clinical experience, the scientific knowledge and the resources to determine which treatment protocol offers the most effective therapy to meet each patient’s unique needs. In fact, research conducted by University of Chicago scientists led to improvements in the way that adolescents and young adults throughout the world are being treated for leukemia and other cancers.
Bridging the Treatment Gap for Young Adults
While five-year survival rates for AYA patients are improving (currently 70 percent), they have not kept pace with the steadily increasing rates of survival among young children (almost 80 percent). Our cancer care physicians optimize care for young adults by offering specialized services and protocols. We:
- Lead clinical trials targeted to this specific age group
- Offer a collaborative program led by adult and pediatric hematologists/oncologists
- Provide emotional support tailored to young adults
- Refer patients for fertility counseling
- Support and monitor patients to aid them with treatment compliance
- Assist patients with insurance
- Help patients experience a life that is not limited by their diagnosis
A Multidisciplinary Team of Experts
The AYA medical team includes nationally known pediatric and adult hematologists/oncologists, dedicated nurse practitioners and social workers. Together, these specialists provide comprehensive diagnostic, treatment, support and follow-up services for AYA patients. University of Chicago Medicine experts in related disciplines -- radiation oncology, radiology, surgery, pathology, psychiatry, genetics and fertility -- collaborate with the primary team.
Our inter-disciplinary staff helps adolescents and young adults navigate the medical challenges and personal issues of a cancer diagnosis by providing compassion and support. And by bringing together our pediatric and adult cancer experts, we can offer access to state-of-the-art treatments and the most advanced care available.
A Lifetime of Care
Cancer and its treatment can have an impact on adolescents and young adults long after they have been cured. The Childhood Cancer Survivors Center offers long-term follow-up and care after treatment and throughout adulthood. Our specialists monitor the impact of the disease on the patient’s growth, organs, fertility, emotional development, and more.