Young Adult Cancer Program

At the Livestrong Cancer Institutes, we currently provide care to those diagnosed with or at risk of gynecologic cancer as well as individuals diagnosed with gastrointestinal, head/neck, hematologic, and lung cancers. Our Young Adult Cancer Program helps to address the specific needs of patients (ages 18 to 39) related to their cancer and treatment. This may include concerns, such as building and caring for a family, identity, education, career and finances, or social, emotional, and mental health support.

Who can receive care in the Young Adult Cancer Program

All cancer patients who are receiving care in UT Health Austin’s Livestrong Cancer Institutes and are under the age of 40 can access this program from the time of diagnosis through treatment and beyond regardless of stage or prognosis.

Our goal is to help all patients achieve comfort, capability, and calm. The Young Adult Cancer Program works with patients to address their specific needs, which may change throughout their cancer journey.

What young adult cancer care looks like

Young adults faced with a cancer diagnosis typically do not fit into the traditional pediatric or adult cancer care model. Because of their unique needs, our care team spends time listening to patients and their loved ones to better understand their goals and connect them with the right resources, which may include helping patients address social isolation or emotional distress, the decision of whether or not to stay in school, understanding how treatment may impact fertility, or guidance on how to talk about a cancer diagnosis with colleagues or supervisors, peers, and loved ones.

Services received as part of the Young Adult Cancer Program are delivered by and coordinated across our entire care team. A patient’s medical oncologist, advanced practice provider, and other providers are included in these conversations to ensure patient treatment plans address all of a patient’s needs and preferences.

Young adult advisory board

This program was co-designed with young adult cancer patients, survivors, and loved ones to focus on what matters most to young adult cancer patients. The young adult advisors work directly with the physicians, clinical providers, and staff at UT Health Austin’s Livestrong Cancer Institutes to rethink cancer care. Advisors have the unique opportunity to:

  • Gain a better understanding of the healthcare system and service delivery
  • Feel heard and have their opinions, experiences, and perspectives validated
  • Become advocates for patient and family-centered healthcare in their community
  • Form strategies for patients to improve how they become active participants in their own health care

We are always looking for creative young adult advisors to further develop the Young Adult Cancer Program. We are passionate about creating an inclusive community that promotes and values diversity in age, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, ethnicity, education, experience, and perspectives. If you are a young adult who has been directly impacted by cancer and may be interested in joining our advisory board, please reach out to our team at CaLM@austin.utexas.edu.