We are dedicated to helping cancer survivors who are now between the ages of 18–39 navigate their post-treatment health journey. Our personalized survivorship care plans provide detailed information about your cancer care, medical history and recommended follow-up care.
Survivorship care for now + future
Life after cancer can be challenging for anyone, but it can be especially difficult for those who are navigating adulthood as a survivor. At Tufts Medicine, we offer age-appropriate survivorship care designed to support, educate and empower you to take care of your health now and in the future.
Whether you were diagnosed as a child, teen or young adult, and regardless of where you received your care, you are welcome to receive our services. You don't have to be an existing patient to receive our support.
People with a cancer history deserve long-term care to manage and monitor for late effects from therapy. Cancer's impact isn't over — even after the last round of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.
When you join our program, we’ll provide personalized resources like a treatment summary and follow-up care plan to help make your post-cancer care a smooth one.
The treatment summary is a simple and clear document that contains your entire cancer treatment records along with your complete medical history. This summary can be shared with any new primary care doctor or specialist you meet in the future, allowing them to understand your cancer journey without the need for you to retell your story. It is a useful tool that can save you from the hassle of explaining everything from scratch.
Follow-up care plan
The follow-up care plan lists any current health challenges related to cancer treatment and oncological recommendations to monitor for potential late effects from therapy. Your plan includes:
- Recommended tests and specialty exams (like cardiac imaging tests and total body skin exams) and how often they’re necessary
- The reason for the recommendation (such as certain chemo or radiation)
- Dates of your last visits and tests
- The doctors responsible for each aspect of your care
Coordinating your care
Care coordination is essential to ensure that all members of your care team are on the same page. Your follow-up plan is added to your medical record and in myTuftsMed.
We understand that survivorship can be a challenge for young adults, and we want to help make it easier for you. That's why we've created resource guides that are specifically tailored to your needs. Whether you've already completed treatment or are still undergoing it, our guides have got you covered. They include a personalized list of organizations that can provide you with the support you need to connect with other young adults who have gone through similar experiences, find a job, start a family and access financial and insurance assistance. You don't have to go through this alone – let us help you navigate survivorship with confidence and ease.
Connection and support are often important for your well-being as you navigate being an AYA. Check these out:
- Stupid Cancer: Working to “make young adult cancer suck less,” Stupid Cancer offers multiple ways to connect with the young adult cancer community through meet-ups and their annual conference, Cancer Con. Their site also has links to webinars and resources to stay educated and empowered.
- Imerman Angels: They match you with someone with a similar cancer history, providing one-on-one cancer support. Sign up to become a mentor or request one.
- I Had Cancer: Signing up as a member of this site allows you to read other young adult survivors, fighters and supporters' stories and participate in real discussions.
- Cactus Cancer Society: Offers diverse wellness and support online programs including game night, creative writing workshops and weekly e-newsletter.
- Elephants + Tea: "The elephant in the room is cancer. Tea is the relief conversation provides.” Young adult cancer patients and survivors write stories on a range of topics from survivor’s guilt, friendship through cancer and dealing with Covid-19 as a survivor. Read at your leisure or sign up for their weekly e-newsletter.
- Ulman Foundation: Offers educational scholarships and links to additional resources.
We wish you so many good vibes in your job search. Here's a great resource that could be helpful:
- Cancer and Careers: This site provides a comprehensive set of tools to assist individuals with a history of cancer at any stage of the work continuum, from those searching for a job to those already employed. They have helpful resources like a handy job search toolkit and resume and cover letter guides.
For sure, we recommend starting with these resources as you're exploring and learning about your options.
Yes, check these out:
- The SAMFund: Financial grant applications generally occur twice yearly to support young adult cancer survivors who have completed treatment. Grants have been used to help pay off medical bills or debt and family planning medical care costs.
- Patient Advocate Foundation: Undergraduate and graduate school scholarships for cancer survivors.
Health insurance is complex. To help you better understand health insurance terminology, such as deductible and co-pay, and how to choose the best plan for you, there are organizations that specialize in providing these resources. These organizations can be a valuable resource and can provide tips on selecting the right plan.
You bet, here are a few we know of:
First Descents: Join other AYAs (18-39) on a multi-day adventure centered around whitewater kayaking, rock climbing or surfing. Local weekend trips (FDTribs) are also organized to help connect AYAs with other AYAs closer to home. Virtual programming and an Out Living It blog are also offered on their site.
True North Treks: Designed for AYA cancer survivors, treks include backpacking in Idaho or canoeing in Montana or Utah. Free online mindfulness classes for young adults and their caregivers affected by cancer occur on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month.
Ulman Foundation: Each spring a 12-week run/walk training program takes place in Boston offering a chance to get in better physical shape with other members and supporters of the AYA cancer community.
Project Koru: Offerings include snowboarding, surfing adventures, and weekend workshop retreats for AYAs diagnosed between ages 18-39.
YMCA: Livestrong assists those living with, through and beyond cancer to regain strength and connection with other survivors.
You've got this! Here are some helpful resources;
Triage Cancer: Provides information and resource pages regarding legal, insurance and employment resources in each state.
Cancer Legal Resource Center: This organization is part of the Disability Rights Legal Center which aims to provide information through a national telephone assistance line and outreach programs to help educate and support those affected by cancer on matters including accessing healthcare and government benefits.
Supporters + gratitude
We would like to thank our sponsors and collaborators for their support in advancing AYA clinical care, research, and awareness. We appreciate their dedication to our cause and recognize that their contributions have been vital to our success. We look forward to continuing our work with them and future contributors.
The Reid R. Sacco AYA Cancer Alliance
The AYA Cancer Program was established in January 2013 with the help of a generous donation from the Reid R. Sacco AYA Cancer Alliance. The program was named after Reid, who was diagnosed with cancer just weeks before his high school graduation. Sadly, Reid passed away 2 years later in 2005 at the age of 20. His family and friends were inspired by his bravery and determination, and have since dedicated their time and resources to helping young adult cancer patients and survivors.
Support from Teen Cancer America
Teen Cancer America (TCA) collaborates with hospitals all over the United States to provide specialized services and facilities for teenagers and young adults who are affected by cancer. In 2020, the AYA Cancer Program and TCA joined forces. By partnering with TCA, our AYA Cancer Program aims to improve its outreach efforts to serve AYAs throughout the medical center better, while also taking advantage of the benefits of being part of a network of AYA programs across the country that share best practices and resources.
Support throughout the years
We are grateful for the support we have received from individuals and corporations.
- The Lewis Family: 2022
- Golf Fights Cancer: 2022
- The Moreau/Spellman (Shades of Pink) Family: 2018
- This Star Won’t Go Out: 2018
- The Allman Family: 2017, 2019, 2021-2022
- The Cunningham Family: 2017
- The Wills Family (Talbots): 2016
- Children’s Cancer Awareness Club Chelsea High School: 2016
- New England Cancer Specialists: 2016
- YNS Reid Sacco Invitational (USA North Shore Sharks Swim Meet): 2015, 2016
- Friends of Mel: 2015
- The YMCA + Livestrong: 2014-2016
- Conquer Cancer Foundation: 2014-2016
- The Dunkin’ Donuts & Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation: 2013-2016
- 15 - 40 Connection: 2014, 2015
- The DiGiulio Family: 2014
- The Ianniciello Family: 2014
- The Limoli Family: 2014
- Susan Parsons + Walter Armstrong: 2013-2020