A new oncology unit is open to adolescents and young adults battling cancer.
The Fort Worth Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Coalition (FWAYAOC) celebrated the grand opening of its new adolescent and young adult (AYA) inpatient cancer unit and infusion center located at Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center.
The FWAYAOC unit is the first community-supported AYA oncology inpatient unit in the nation and offers young adults diagnosed with cancer, ages 18 to 29, comprehensive, life-enhancing support, age-relevant resources and specialized care designed to improve their lives before, during and after cancer.
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Cancer can have a devastating impact in the lives of young adults who are in school, starting families or beginning their careers,” said Susan Shields, Director of Cancer Program at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth.
“The FWAYAOC unit communicates to young adults that they’re important and that we’ll meet them where they are,” she said.
The unit will feature a specialized staff that includes a nurse practitioner, patient navigator, psychologist, social worker and patient activity specialist.
Patients will have access to life-enhancing programs that include fertility preservation education, peer-to-peer mentoring, counseling, navigation of school, career and financial concerns, treatment education, clinical trial information and assistance with other young adult-related needs.
Each year, more than 500 AYAs are diagnosed with cancer in and around Tarrant County.
Previously, young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 have had to choose between a pediatric environment or one that serves mostly older adults, neither of which specialize in providing age-relevant care and resources to this demographic.