Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) information is for anyone between 17 and 39 years old.
If you're a teen or a young adult, this is a time in your life when you are working hard at being independent. But if you've been diagnosed with cancer, you may find you need to reach out to parents, friends, or other family for support at a time when you least expected to.
You may also have some unique challenges to deal with. Maybe you're going off to college, starting a new job, or starting a family. Maybe you need to manage medical leave from work or school, and figure out childcare. Or maybe you have concerns about your sexual health, body image, or fertility.
There are many things about a cancer diagnosis that can make it hard to live life like you want to. This page will help connect you with various resources that may help.
I was 26 years old when I was diagnosed with cancer. Not only did my friends and peers have a hard time wrapping their heads around treatment and everything I was going through, when I went into the cancer centre for appointments or treatments, I never saw anyone in the waiting rooms that looked around my age. I was clearly a minority and it felt lonely. Later on, through various programs and online resources, I was able to connect with others. Looking back now, I'm so glad I did. I learned that there were actually a lot of people (too many) facing cancer in the same life stage as me.
- A Young Adult Patient at Tom Baker Cancer Centre
AYA Navigator Digital Story - Along Side
Cancer Care Alberta has various programs to help support you in your cancer journey. Below are details about different Cancer Patient Navigators that can help guide you to resources and supports throughout your journey.
Adolescent & Young Adult (AYA) Navigators
Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Navigators are registered nurses who work within a team of different professionals to help people 17-39 years old live well with and beyond cancer. They may give you information and education about common concerns young adults with cancer have, and can connect you with community supports. An AYA navigator can also refer you to an AYA Oncologist, or an AYA team of different professionals.
Regional & Community Cancer Patient Navigators
Regional and Community Cancer Patient Navigators are registered nurses who can provide information and support to patients and families throughout their cancer journey. They can help you prepare for appointments or upcoming tests, coordinate appointments, and connect you to resources or community supports.
Indigenous Cancer Patient
Indigenous Cancer Patient Navigators are registered nurses who can help Indigenous people impacted by cancer. Indigenous navigators can help to bridge western medicine with traditional practices. This may include navigating the healthcare system, advocating for patients, and helping with NIHB concerns.