Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology

Teens and young adults diagnosed with a serious illness like cancer have different needs and treatment challenges than younger children or older adults. Children's adolescent medicine program meets teens' and young adults' many health needs, including the critical social and emotional needs that are part of normal growth and change in adolescence. We understand this is an important time and will focus on helping them meet their potential during and after treatment.

Adolescents with a hematology or oncology diagnosis benefit from Children's experts in psychology, social work, behavioral medicine, and child development. We work together with your family every step of the way, through diagnosis, treatment and care after treatment.

Why Choose Children's?

Aggressive clinical trial enrollment. According to the National Cancer Institute, sometimes teens and young adults with cancer do better with treatment approaches that are tailored to young children rather than those designed for older adults. Furthermore, clinical trials are an important treatment option for cancer patients of all ages, and often yield better results for patients who participate than those who do not. At Children's, 15- to 19-year-old teens and young adults are enrolled in clinical trials at four times the national average for the same age group. This aggressive approach to enrollment in research studies has placed Children's in the top 5% of members enrolling patients in the clinical trials of Children's Oncology Group (the world's largest pediatric cancer research cooperative).

Emphasis on preserving fertility. Preserving fertility in teens and young adults receiving chemotherapy, radiation or surgery is an important part of their quality of life and hope for the future. Being able to have your own children may not be on your mind now, but we believe it will be some day. We place special emphasis on preserving fertility and offer sperm banking for all male teens and young adults; while females typically are placed on evidence-based clinical practice guidelines (i.e., guidelines that combine knowledge from an experienced clinical practitioner, current research and patient preference) for regulating menstruation and preserving fertility.

Dedicated pediatric gynecologist. At Children's, we have a pediatric gynecologist – the only one in Minnesota – within the clinic who provides expert medical and surgical care to patients with cancers of the reproductive tract and provides special knowledge about fertility-sparing treatment options for ovarian tumors.