Today cancer is the leading disease killer among 20- to 39-year-olds.
A cancer diagnosis between the ages of 15 and 39 is eight times more common than a diagnosis during the first 15 years of life. In the U.S., every 8 minutes a young adult is diagnosed with cancer.
Despite advances in early detection, treatment, and prevention, there’s been no improvement within the last 30 years in survival rates for this particular age group — and in fact, the gap between the survival rates of young adults and those of cancer patients in other age groups is widening.
Adolescents and young adults face unique challenges with a cancer diagnosis.
A cancer diagnosis at a young age can leave young adults feeling like nobody understands. They may not know anyone who has cancer, or may not know how to talk to the people in their life about the experience. For young adults it’s especially difficult to stop the forward momentum in life with their education, career, friends & family, while those around them are moving on.
Adolescents and young adults have the added stress of considering how their cancer treatments may impact their fertility. Whether they are years away from having children, have never thought about it, or have already had children, it’s important to know if and how cancer treatments can impact fertility.
Cancer can be expensive! Cancer at a young age can affect finances both short term and long term. Many young adults may not have health insurance or high quality coverage. Additionally, many costs that are common for young people like student loans and tuition, rent or a mortgage, and other needs can add up quickly on top of the cost of cancer.
Young adult survivors live with the aftermath of cancer much longer than many other cancer patients. The years of survivorship can bring on a plethora of medical complications, in addition to psychosocial challenges.
We fill the voids in young adult cancer care.
Adolescent & Young Adult Navigation
Our Adolescent and Young Adult Navigators work with those impacted by cancer from diagnosis, through treatment and into survivorship or end of life. The team serves patients nationwide and in hospitals in the Baltimore/Washington region. Navigators work on addressing many of the unique barriers adolescent and young adult patients face including social isolation, fertility preservation, financial need, and limited support.Talk to Us →
Cancer and Exercise
Exercise has been proven to be a positive addition to cancer treatment. Our Cancer to 5K program is a free 12-week run/walk training program for cancer survivors of any age or treatment status. The program is available onsite in 15 cities and online. Learn more →
Cancer shouldn’t prevent you from getting an education. We provide more than 30 academic scholarships each year to young adults impacted by cancer. Learn more about the application process and if you qualify. Learn more →
We recognized the void for young people traveling to Baltimore to seek treatment from some of the country’s best hospitals. Ulman House opened in the winter of 2019 to provide free lodging for young adult cancer patients and their caregivers in East Baltimore. Learn more →