Learning from long-term adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer survivors regarding their age-specific care needs to improve current AYA care programs

Silvie H. M. Janssen, Carla Vlooswijk, Eveliene Manten-Horst, Sophia H. E. Sleeman, Rhodé M. Bijlsma, Suzanne E. J. Kaal, Jan Martijn Kerst, Jacqueline M. Tromp, Monique E. M. M. Bos, Tom van der Hulle, Roy I. Lalisang, Janine Nuver, Mathilde C. M. Kouwenhoven, Winette T. A. van der Graaf, Olga Husson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Despite growing (inter)national awareness and appreciation, age-specific care is still not always self-evident and accepted as standard of care for adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer patients. It is unknown whether long-term AYA cancer survivors have missed age-specific care, and if so, which survivors missed it and regarding which topics. Methods: The Netherlands Cancer Registry (NCR) identified all long-term AYA cancer survivors (aged 18–39 years at initial cancer diagnosis, 5–20 years past diagnosis) in the Netherlands, who were invited to participate in a population-based, observational, cross-sectional questionnaire study (SURVAYA study), including questions on care needs. Results: In total, 3.989 AYAs participated (35.3% response rate). One-third of them had a need for age-specific care (33.5%), 41.2% had no need and 25.3% did not know whether they had a need. Those who had a need for age-specific care were significantly more often female, higher educated, diagnosed at a younger age, and treated with chemotherapy, radiotherapy or hormone therapy. Most frequent topics were disease and treatment (29.7%), emotions (24.1%), friends (22.6%), family and children (15.6%), fertility and pregnancy (14.8%), work and reintegration (10.5%), care not tailored (13.8%), and overarching care and life (27.7%). Palliative care (0.0%), spirituality (0.2%), death (0.7%), complementary care (0.7%), and late effects (1.3%) were mentioned least. Conclusions: A substantial proportion of long-term AYA cancer survivors showed a need for age-specific care, varying by sociodemographic and clinical factors, on a wide variety of topics, which could be targeted to improve current AYA care services.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCancer Medicine
Early online date2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2023

Cite this