The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer works with our partners to ensure that adolescents and young adults (AYA) who are either living with cancer or who are survivors of cancer as children, adolescents or young adults experience improved outcomes and quality of life.
Our vision is to ensure that AYA Canadians, both during and after treatment for cancer, have quick, equitable access to the best care. This care should be based on education and research in order to improve health outcomes and quality of life.
Our mission is to eliminate the current disparities of care for AYA Canadians during and after treatment for cancer. We will accomplish this through education and advances in treatment and research that are focussed on respecting the unique needs of this population.
The second international Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Stakeholders Workshop took place in Toronto on March 29 – 30, 2012. The workshop brought together over 100 stakeholders to make a plan for implementing the recommendations of the Canadian Task Force on Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer. Stakeholders included representatives from hospitals, cancer agencies, ministries of health, advocacy organizations, non-governmental organizations as well as researchers, health-care providers, survivors and AYA supporters.
Through the workshop exercise, stakeholders created important guidelines for the implementation of recommendations at the local, regional and national levels. They also created a plan to make sure that implementation was unified across the country.
After the conference, the Task Force released its Pan-Canadian AYA Action Framework.
Pan-Canadian AYA Action Framework
The Task Force’s Pan-Canadian AYA Action Framework is a good starting point for future improvements to AYA cancer treatment.
By promoting the Framework, the Task Force will pursue goals in the following areas to continue to improve care for AYA with cancer and survivors of AYA cancer throughout Canada:
- clinical and supportive care
- education and research
- prevention and screening
To meet these objectives, the Task Force will develop methods for making sure that efforts to create change are sustainable. It will create ways to evaluate these efforts, ways to promote awareness and ways to build advocacy for AYA. The Task Force will also define a robust research agenda to keep all of these objectives on track.
Regional action partnerships (RAPs)
One of the outcomes of the March 2012 workshop was the establishment of regional action partnerships (RAPs) representing every part of Canada. These RAPs are putting the framework into action to improve outcomes for AYA with cancer in their region.
Their collaborative approach has been successful in bringing together specific expertise at the regional level. They have also helped apply AYA-specific knowledge and tools that are being developed by Task Force working groups.
It is intended that the AYA Task Force will provide support and direction to the RAPs as they build their own infrastructures and plans for sustainability.