Adolescent and Young Adults (AYA's) range in age from 15-16. They face cancers that are less common in adults & children, which leaves them stranded between two medical systems - neither of which adequately address their psychosocial needs.
The Numbers Are Growing
- In the U.S., over 16,000 children under the age of 21 are diagnosed with cancer every year.
- According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 285 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed before the age of 20.
- There are approximately 388,00 survivors of childhood and adolescent cancer. Two-thirds will need continued treatment for a chronic condition.
- Adolescent survivors have difficulties re-adjusting to school and social settings, experience anxiety and in some cases ongoing learning difficulties due to the side effects of treatment. They especially struggle with: Body Image & Changes; Anxiety; Isolation; Interruption of School Curriculum; Loss of a Social Life; and sometimes, Infertility.
- Research has shown that interventions that include adolescent programs reduce anxiety teens and families experience in a medical setting. Lower anxiety levels help shorten hospital stays and improve the overall experience.
Time in the hospital means time away from school, friends and the life they knew. It becomes critical for these teens, who are facing the battle of their lives, to maintain a sense of connection to their family, friends, and lifestyle in order to battle their treatments with a solid frame of mind, courage, and determination.
Our Message to the Young Person with Cancer:
Whatever you’re going through right now, you're not alone. Support is always available, whether you have cancer, you’re worried about cancer or someone you know has been given a cancer diagnosis.
- Get the right advice. When your health is on your mind, get personalized advice from an expert, and try not to keep it to yourself.
- Speak Up! Saying cancer out loud for the first time makes everything seem more real. Talking to friends and family can really help. If others get upset – it’s just that they care about you, and don’t know what to do for you.
- How does our Teen Kit make a difference in the hospital or at home?
For a lot of teens undergoing cancer treatments, the side effects can be harsh, causing burning & itching sensations; becoming too cold or too hot; soreness, dizziness, nauseous or loss of appetite, and ultimate exhaustion. Our Teen Kits & Bandana Pillows are unique gifts designed JUST FOR YOU. We want to make your hospital stay a lot more comfortable and fun! We surveyed hundreds of cancer patients and oncology professionals, in-person interviews, and sorted through the latest product samples and bags, to make sure our Teen Kits are as useful and fun as possible. We want to let you know that we care and are wishing you hope, strength, and patience. We know this is the most difficult time of your life!
This hospital-based public service program helps teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 deal with the appearance, health, and social side effects of cancer treatment.
True Boutique is a Cancer Beauty Needs Boutique designed for cancer patients. A skilled and trained cosmetologist, certified by the American Cancer Society, offers comfort, compassion, and support in a private setting. Located in New Jersey.
Our Message to friends & families… How can you help?
If you have a friend or relative with cancer, here’s what you can do to be a true friend:
- Listen! Let them talk (or not talk) about their feelings.
- Let them take things at their own pace. Help them review schoolwork with no pressure.
- Just be there and visit.
Look past the physical changes and fight the urge to stay away. Continue your friendship.
Community Service & School Assemblies empower young people through advocacy and education.
In 2012, The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution designating the third week in January 2013 as “Teen Cancer Awareness Week.”
ARVF conducts educational large-group assemblies for Elementary & High Schools around the country. This program helps to take the stigma out of cancer & other life-affecting illnesses that are presented in the student’s school.
For School Administrators:
What Do I Do if my child or someone I know, has lost the battle?
Healing in grief is not a passive event; it’s an active process. It calls on your emotional, physical, intellectual, and spiritual energy. Reach out to a local support group which offers support through education, encouragement, and understanding.