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Palliative Care

Due to the unique psychosocial issues that affect the adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer population there exists a special subgroup of palliative care. Palliative care is used to provide pain and symptom control, so the ability to win the trust and respect of the AYA population is especially crucial yet extremely challenging. AYA treatment compliance is dependent on this confidence created between patient and provider as AYAs claim their independence while transitioning into adulthood. Cancer care goals may be objectively assessed through the use of a palliative medicine consultant particularly in progression from curative intent to symptom management.

Source: Wein S, Pery S, Zer A. Role of Palliative Care in Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology. J Clin Oncol. 2010; 28:4819-4824.

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AYA patients are less likely to enroll in clinical trials than children or adults due to inadequate health insurance, lack of referrals and many clinicians don’t know of AYA trials. AYA participation is crucial to finding effective therapies. Many comprehensive cancer centers, university med centers, and pediatric centers- support AYA trials.

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