Welcome to Hematology /Oncology's Adolescent and Young Adult
(AYA) website. This page was created for AYA patients, their
families and friends with the help of our AYA patients. We hope you
find it useful!
What is AYA?
Here at Children's Mercy we define an AYA patient as any patient
age 13 and older. In the department of Hematology/Oncology we
treat patients that are diagnosed with cancer or blood disorder up
to age 21. After age 21 we work with adult Hematology/Oncology
providers to ensure that our patients continue to have the care
that they need. Adolescence and Young Adulthood is a time of
transition, regardless of an individual's medical need and at CMH
we strive to provide patients in this age group with comprehensive
To meet the unique needs of our AYA patients we developed a
program specifically for AYA patients. Part of the program is a
multi-disciplinary team of providers including social workers,
child life specialists, nutritionists, physicians, nurses, nurse
practitioners and research coordinators. However, the most
important members of this team are the patient and their families.
We are constantly seeking feedback and striving to improve the
quality of care provided to this diverse population.
Another reason that the AYA program was developed is because we
know that patients with certain types of cancer in this age group
do better when treated at a pediatric center. For example patients
in the AYA age group with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL, the
most common blood cancer in children) treated on pediatric
treatment protocols have better outcomes than those treated on
adult protocols. We also work with adult providers to help guide
the therapy of AYA patients with more "adult" tumors. This allows
us to design the best treatment plan for each patient.
We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments
regarding our AYA program.