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Meet Our AYA Group

Meet Our AYA Group

For adolescents and young adults (AYA) stricken with cancer, the experience is vastly different from those in other age groups.

According to the American Cancer Society, the survival rate for AYA is 75%, but the rate hasn’t changed in 25 years. There are six times as many AYA new cancers diagnosed as pediatric cancers, but they do not have the advantages afforded by organized pediatric oncology.

As a result, young cancer survivors carry stress that spans well beyond their medical needs. They worry about recurrence, job complications, difficulty with relationships and marriage, medical debt, infertility and clinical depression, among others.

Often times, the AYA population is underserved:  many organizations do not offer any kind of support to their age group. Recently, a number of AYA patients at SCCA Proton Therapy Center expressed interest in forming a support group.

“This population often feels isolated. They’re not kids but not really adults, either,” says Michelle Massey, Oncology Social Worker at SCCA Proton Therapy Center. “Providing a space for them to gather and enjoy food and company provides emotional support as a compliment to proton therapy.”

Michelle meets with all children, adolescents and young adults as part of her role, but now there is enough interest to form a support group.

The first AYA group meeting will be hosted on Wednesday, March 9 at California Pizza Kitchen at Northgate Mall, located at 401 N.E. Northgate Way, Spc. 944. For more information, visit www.sccaprotontherapy.com or <a href="javascript:location='mailto:\u006d\u0069\u0063\u0068\u0065\u006c\u006c\u0065\u002e\u006d\u0061\u0073\u0073\u0065\u0079\u0040\u0073\u0065\u0061\u0074\u0074\u006c\u0065\u0070\u0072\u006f\u0074\u006f\u006e\u0073\u002e\u006f\u0072\u0067';void 0">via email</a>