By Seline Tam, Research Analyst, Ambulatory AYA Program, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
The Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Program at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre provides many different types of support to younger people (less than 40 years old) living with cancer. The program provides education, resources, support and connects patients to other specialized services that deal with the unique needs of young adults with cancer such as: coping/peer support, school and work, fertility, diet and exercise, sexual health, body image and finances.
Patients who participate in the program meet one-on-one with the AYA Clinical Nurse Specialist to identify concerns where additional support is needed. Patients can also sign up to receive a monthly e-newsletter that provides program updates and information on upcoming AYA-specific events. This could include information on meet-ups, retreats and conferences hosted by cancer support organizations such as The Pink Pearl Foundation, Young Adult Cancer Canada, Wellspring and Gilda's Club.
The AYA Program also offers an 8-week AYA Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) workshop that teaches participants how to live in the present, improve their mood and how to develop a calm, clear focus. In addition to this, the AYA Program hosts a monthly meet-up for young adults with metastatic, chronic or advanced cancers. The monthly meet-up is currently running as a virtual event, on the 4th Thursday of the month from 6 to 8 pm. Supporters and children are welcome to attend.
There are many opportunities to participate in AYA Program events and to have a voice in AYA programming. Patients can become involved in the program through a referral by their Princess Margaret health care provider or by emailing
firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (416) 946 4501 extension 5890.
For further information about the program, visit the
AYA Oncology Program website.
AYA Program at Princess Margaret