The Canadian Task Force on Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer was formed in 2008 with funding from the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer and the support of C17, the consortium of Canadian pediatric cancer centres. The goal has been to improve cancer outcomes in the adolescent and young adult (AYA) population.
Adolescents and young adults with cancer are a unique group of patients in terms of both the biology of their cancers and the way they experience their cancer journey. People in this age group are still maturing and still developing their independence, adult relationships and future path. Although the incidence of cancer in the AYA age group is lower than in older groups, the personal, societal and socioeconomic impact is disproportionately greater, given the approximately 50- to 60-year life expectancy of AYA survivors.
The Partnership has been working with the AYA Task Force over several years. This initiative has focused on the development of strategies to support this unique population and has been instrumental in identifying strategies to improve the experiences of adolescents and young adults.
AYA National Network
A pan-Canadian AYA National Network is being established in April 2017. The AYA Network will be chaired by Dr. Paul Grundy, the Expert Lead, Pediatric, Adolescent and Young Adult.
The goals of the Adolescent and Young Adult National Network are to:
- support patients’ and families’ engagement in decision-making processes by contributing to the knowledge, communication and awareness of the information that they need to make informed choices;
- identify gaps and key opportunities for improvement in the delivery of AYA programs in Canada;
- develop strategies to address these gaps;
- develop a set of national outcome performance indicators and benchmarks that build on previous work and accomplishments from provincial, national and internationally recognized approaches.