Our team includes oncology social workers, psychologists, dietitians and other specialists to support and guide patients coping with the physical, emotional, social and practical impact of cancer.
Each year, about 70,000 adolescents and young adults (AYAs) between the ages of 15 - 39 are diagnosed with cancer in the U.S., almost six times the number of cases diagnosed in children up to 14 years of age.
Young adults living with cancer confront unique challenges related to work, school, health insurance, relationships, sexuality and fertility, as well as emotional distress and depression. Lurie Cancer Center’s Adolescent & Young Adult Oncology Program provides programs and services to address these concerns and support the needs of young adults with cancer.
What We're Doing About It
Led by clinical psychologist Stacy Sanford, PhD, and oncologist, Jennifer Reichek, MD, the Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Program provides specialized services and resources for young people affected by cancer at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. The resources and services we offer are aligned with nationally established guidelines, or standards of care, to meet the complex needs of our patients.
The AYA Oncology Program brings together experts from a wide range of disciplines, offering access to the world-class resources of the Lurie Cancer Center, including supportive care, clinical services and cutting-edge clinical trials for patients with all types of cancer.
Specialized Services & Support for AYAs
Many cancer treatments affect fertility. The best time to talk about fertility preservation is before treatment begins.
Kristin Smith, our Patient Navigator for Fertility Preservation, walks patients and providers through the process, explaining the options for each individual. Kristin also works with the oncology teams to integrate fertility preservation into each treatment plan, and provides insurance and financial guidance to patients and their families.
Contact Kristin Smith at email@example.com or 312-503-3378 to learn more or schedule an appointment.
Clinical trials (research studies) evaluate new drugs, treatments and interventions. They increase understanding and knowledge about the best ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. Almost every cancer treatment that is saving lives today is the result of a clinical trial.
Our AYA patients have access to state-of-the art cancer care and innovative clinical trials offered by the Lurie Cancer Center, one of only 49 Comprehensive Cancer Centers designated by the National Cancer Institute.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 312-695-1102 to learn more.
View a list of clinical trials offered at the Lurie Cancer Center, and talk with your care team to decide if a clinical trial is right for you.
Palliative care is specialized medical care to control pain and other symptoms to improve quality of life. It is an important aspect of cancer care that can begin at any stage of illness and be provided together with treatment.
Palliative medicine specialist, Melanie Smith, MD, works with young adults, their loved ones, and their care team to ensure treatment plans are consistent with each individual’s goals and values.
Contact the Palliative Care and Symptom Management Services Program at 312-926-0001 to learn more or schedule an appointment.
Surveillance & Survivorship Care
It’s important to develop a personalized plan for screening and surveillance. Young adult cancer survivors have access to specialized survivorship clinics and services offering long-term follow-up care.