April 29, 2021

UW Health unveils new service for young cancer patients

Madison, Wis. – The UW Carbone Cancer Center has launched the Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Program, the first of its kind in Wisconsin, which is designed to improve the quality of life and long-term survival for adolescents and young adults (age 15-39) diagnosed with cancer.

The AYA Oncology Program uses a telemedicine model to reach patients, which will reduce barriers to access across Wisconsin. It uses a multidisciplinary team-based approach to:

  • Provide age-appropriate education and interventions designed to support a healthy and productive life throughout the cancer continuum

  • Assess and address individual needs related to social, mental and physical health needs

  • Provide evidence-based supportive care and specialized survivorship care

  • Create education and research opportunities for cancer care providers and researchers focused on adolescents and young adults

“We are providing more than cancer care in this program. Adolescents and young adults need access to comprehensive services during this challenging time and that’s what we hope to accomplish,” said Dr. Amanda Parkes, oncologist at UW Carbone Cancer Center and AYA Oncology Program lead. “We’ll be able to connect our patients with specialists in everything from nutrition to social work to physical therapy.”

This program reaches beyond traditional cancer care to provide personalized consultations throughout the patient’s cancer journey, from diagnosis to survivorship, to provide comprehensive support to that patient’s unique needs. This is vital for a patient group that is considered vulnerable, and often sees worse outcomes than cancer patients in other age groups.