At Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of the University of Miami Health System, we offer advanced treatment for all types of cancer. In addition to your treatment, you’ll have access to many services through the Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Program that are designed to address your unique needs during treatment and beyond.
Cancer treatments can affect fertility in both women and men. Being informed early can help you preserve your reproductive potential. We can refer you to a reproductive endocrinologist for preservation services, including egg and embryo cryopreservation, sperm freezing, and semen analysis. We provide access to high-priority appointments within 48 hours. The reproductive specialists at the UHealth Center for Reproductive Medicine will work with your oncologist to coordinate an individualized treatment plan and make the process more convenient. Financial assistance may be available.
Young adults, especially those in their teens, are still growing and developing. Proper nutrition and diet are key to helping continue your normal physical development throughout cancer treatment. Our expert dietitians will work with you to make better choices more often with healthy foods that support your growth and keep you well as you transition into survivorship. They can also help you get the nutrition you need when you are facing side effects such as nausea, loss of taste, or loss of appetite.
As a young adult, you are still learning who you are and what you want from life. A cancer diagnosis can derail you from your personal goals without the proper support. Psychosocial support from psychiatrists, psychologists, or social workers can help in a number of areas, including improving your self-esteem, body image, and emotional health, assisting with medication management, and improving side effects. These professionals can help you cope with your diagnosis and plan for your future.
Support Groups and Activities
A cancer diagnosis can be tough on young adults who may not feel comfortable in a children’s hospital setting or among older adults at cancer care centers. Connecting with other young adults and adolescents fighting cancer can help you through this challenging time. At Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, we offer support groups, activities, and special events so you can connect with other patients like you.
Child Life Specialists (CCLSs) are certified members of the healthcare team who are educated and clinically trained in the developmental impact of illness and injury. CCLSs are part of an interdisciplinary, patient and family-centered model of care providing psychosocial support, appropriate education about diagnosis and treatment, and help to cope with the stress and uncertainty of illness. They also provide access to opportunities for social interaction, recreational activities, and other support services and programs.
As a young adult, you may not have savings, health insurance, or other financial support needed for cancer treatment. Our financial counselors and social workers can help you find insurance, payment plans, and other resources to pay for treatment and minimize any damage to your financial future.
Clinical trials give you access to the latest treatments available. These treatments may improve your quality of life or provide other effective treatment options. Clinical trials may be especially important for adolescents and young adults who often have unique or uncommon types of cancer.
While receiving treatment, our chaplains offer nondenominational spiritual support such as prayer and counseling. They can also help you find support from leaders in your particular faith and observe your religious traditions.
Supportive therapies help improve your mental, emotional, and physical health. They have shown to alleviate the physical side effects of cancer or cancer treatments. Supportive therapies include art therapy, music therapy, exercise physiology, acupuncture, or yoga. Services are also available through the Patient Resource Center to help you look and feel your best during your treatment.
When your treatment is complete, you will transition to survivorship care. During survivorship, you will need to see your physician regularly to ensure cancer hasn’t returned. Survivorship services will also help you care for the long-term effects of cancer treatment that impact your quality of life. By making the most of survivorship services, you can improve your health and wellbeing throughout your lifetime.