Abstract: Cancer remains the most common cause of disease-related death in adolescents and young adults (AYAs) in high-income countries, their overall survival now exceed 80%. Recognition of the unique distribution of diseases in the AYA population with cancer and further understanding of the distinctive biology of cancers in AYAs will lead to continuing gains in clinical outcomes. Many of the challenges faced by AYAs with a diagnosis of malignant disease are shared by others with chronic medical conditions and even their healthy peers, such as a sense of invulnerability that may contribute to delays in diagnosis. A particular need for psychological support has been identified for AYAs with cancer, even after active therapy has been completed and especially in the context of palliative care. Notable needs also include fertility preservation and navigation through the multiple transitions in the cancer journey. Additionally, the “cost of cure” in the form of short-term, treatment-related morbidity and mortality and late effects is also discussed. This talk aims to increase awareness in the challenges in the care of AYA will cancer but also will high light the important role of the pediatrician and primary care provider in the referral at the time of diagnosis and the importance of participation in clinical trials. In addition, it also aims to lay down the participation of the general practitioner in programs devoted to AYAs with cancer, with complementary educational initiatives in the years after treatment addressing the challenges of survivorship, including secondary prevention of long-term morbidity and mortality.
doi: 10.21037/pm.2018.AB014 Cite this article as: Fernandez KS. Cancer in adolescents and young adults. Pediatr Med 2018;1:AB014.