Supportive Care

Crucial Conversations: Addressing Informational Needs of Adolescents and Young Adults Diagnosed With Cancer

Laura Mitchell

Seline Tam

Abha A. Gupta

adolescents and young adults, AYAs, oncology nursing, informational needs
CJON 2018, 22(5), 483-486. DOI: 10.1188/18.CJON.483-486

Adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with cancer aged 15–39 years have unique medical, psychosocial, and informational needs. At the time of diagnosis, they are often going through important life milestones, such as establishing their independence, attending school or work, and maintaining romantic and/or family relationships. This article describes some of the critical time points for AYAs with cancer and the resources available to support the nursing profession in meeting the unique care needs of this population.


  • AYAs with cancer have unique care needs throughout their illness trajectory (diagnosis, survivorship, clinical trial enrollment, and palliation) that require the attention of their healthcare providers.
  • Tools and resources have been established to screen for and intervene on AYA-specific concerns.
  • Nurses are well positioned to assess the unique care needs of young people and to work with an interprofessional team to optimally address these concerns.
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