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Adolescent and Young Adult Patients 

Adolescent and Young Adult Patients
Adolescent and Young Adult Patients

Christabel K. Cheung

, Sheila J. Santacroce

, and Bradley J. Zebrack

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date: 02 July 2022

Adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer patients are beneficiaries of technological advances, who are now living long enough to experience medical late effects and psychosocial challenges, as well as opportunities for personal growth and transformation, resulting from exposures to curative and life-extending biomedical innovation. This chapter first defines the AYA population and summarizes trends in the epidemiology, etiology, and prognosis of cancer in this population. Second, it describes prominent AYA developmental characteristics. Third, it characterizes the context in which AYAs experience a cancer diagnosis and its care. Fourth and finally, it discusses prevalent psychosocial developmental challenges for AYA cancer patients, including key clinical issues unique to this age-defined population, and what is considered reasonable recommendations for assessment, information, and intervention in psycho-oncology care to promote their health and well-being. Psycho-oncologists are called to utilize frameworks that explain human development and social ecology to inform the development of clinical recommendations that are relevant and responsive to the dynamic contexts in which AYA patients live beyond a diagnosis of cancer.

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