TYAs deserve age-appropriate care by pediatric and adult practitioners that span over many decades. There are unique medical, psychosocial, and supportive care needs that are broader in scope and intensity for TYAs with cancer than such needs in younger and older patients because of the many emotional, developmental, and social changes and transitions that occur during this stage of life. That is why TYAs deserve a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary medical and psychosocial team that understands where they are coming from and where they are at.
UCLA Health is bridging this gap in care by being the first physical unit and program in the U.S. to cater to this population’s needs. The UCLA Daltrey/Townshend Teen and Young Adult Cancer Program is addressing the medical, psychosocial, and supportive care needs of TYAs from the time of diagnosis through survivorship by providing the:
- best patient-centered clinical care in a unit specially designed for and by TYAs;
- latest clinical trials and research available for this age group that crosses the pediatric and adult cancer setting; and
- age and developmentally appropriate psychosocial support and services for the patient and their family.
“Having a program for teens who are going through something as hard as cancer is crucial, as you get to meet other teenagers and individuals who are going through the same thing you’re going through. When the Teen Lounge was open during my treatment, it felt so much different than the confining and stomach churning hospital rooms that we grew so accustomed to. This lounge helped me feel as if we were just hanging out and not going through something so difficult.”