Fay J. Hlubocky, PhD, MA, University of Chicago Department of Medicine, discusses the psychosocial issues that adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer survivors face.
By interviewing an AYA cohort of patients and early survivors, Hlubocky found that more than 60% of this population worries about death and dying. Further, the intensity of these anxieties were more intense with the early survivor group, who ended their treatment within the last year.
Hlubocky said that many healthcare providers are unsure how to communicate with the young adult population, especially since they typically do not self-report their concerns. These younger patients also feel that since their treatment ended, their doctors and nurses do not have time to help them address their anxieties. This is why Hlubocky said that it is crucial for oncologists and nurses to follow up with their patients to address any negative emotions they have after treatment and, if needed, provide referrals to psychological services.