Moffitt Cancer Center’s AYA Program Connects Young Cancer Patients and Families to Provide Support and Healing
The Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Program at Moffitt Cancer Center provides a special focus and connection for cancer patients between the ages of 15-39 years old. The program serves four primary purposes: 1) to manage the emotional toll of their cancer; 2) to receive access to cutting edge clinical trials and state-of- the-art care; 3) to discuss and understand the cancer treatment and its fertility risks and options; and 4) to connect with others who are also facing cancer and coping with similar issues.
The cancer center sees approximately 1,600 new patients every year in this age range, and offers regular events that bring patients together in a safe environment to encourage open communication, help with coping mechanisms, and provide an opportunity to meet others who face similar challenges. In addition, a monthly event is held for family and friends, and a weekly arts and crafts forum brings patients together in a healing and relaxing environment. Social events and educational sessions are also offered to AYA patients and their families.
In addition, the newly created AYA lounge provides inpatients and outpatients with a designated space within the hospital to call their own, where they organically meet other young adults and connect with one another.
The AYA program communicates with approximately 3,500 patients and survivors on a monthly basis and hosted events that were attended by 170 patients over the last 18 months.