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Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology (AYA) Program

Approximately 70,000 young people between the ages of 15 - 39 are diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. each year. It is the number one cause of disease-related death in this age group. Relative to younger and older people with cancer, survival rates for adolescents and young adults (AYAs) have shown little or no improvement since 1975.

Young cancer survivors often face a range of late effects related to cancer and its treatment, including infertility, secondary cancers, neurocognitive difficulties, chronic pain and heart conditions. In addition, they may encounter difficulty returning to school or the workforce, insurance coverage issues, concerns about sexuality, dating, and relationships, as well as emotional distress and depression.

What We're Doing About It

The Lurie Cancer Center has been designated a Center of Excellence in Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology by the Health Care Rights Initiative's Change it Back AYA Cancer Alliance. We are one of only two cancer centers in the nation to hold this honor, recognizing the Lurie Cancer Center as a leader in the field of AYA cancer care.

Led by clinical psychologist, Stacy Sanford, PhD, the AYA Program brings a multidisciplinary team of clinicians and clinical researchers together with the world-class resources of Chicago's Lurie Cancer Center. The services we offer are aligned with nationally established guidelines, or standards of care, to meet the unique and complex needs of our AYA patients.

Services for Young Cancer Survivors

At the Lurie Cancer Center, AYA cancer care is tailored to the individual and may include any of the following services:

The Lurie Cancer Center works closely with support centers that provide opportunities for learning, discussion, and fellowship. These organizations, offer resources and guidance for people who are dealing with cancer.

Contact Us

Lurie Cancer Center patients and families can contact the AYA cancer services listed above directly or request a referral from a member of their oncology team. For more information about the AYA Oncology Program and related services, contact Stacy Sanford, PhD at 312.695.2356.

For more information about the Cancer Survivorship Institute and related services, contact Stacey Rogers at 312.695.0990 or

For more information about the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, visit our website. To make an appointment, call 866.LURIE.CC or 312.695.0990.

For information about our pediatric partner, the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, visit their website or call 312.227.4000.