Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Adolescent & Young Adult Oncology Program


Each year, about 70,000 adolescents and young adults (AYAs) between the ages of 15 - 39 are diagnosed with cancer in the U.S., almost six times the number of cases diagnosed in children up to 14 years of age.

Young adults living with cancer confront unique challenges related to work, school, health insurance, relationships, sexuality and fertility, as well as emotional distress and depression. Lurie Cancer Center’s Adolescent & Young Adult Oncology Program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital provides programs and services to address these concerns and support the needs of young adults with cancer.

Specialized Services & Support for AYAs

We also ensure that AYA cancer survivors have access to specialized care for a range of late effects related to cancer and its treatment, including infertility, secondary cancers, neurocognitive difficulties, chronic pain, and heart conditions. Our program is dedicated to helping young people affected by cancer to connect, and empowering them to manage long-term survivorship.

bloodpressure.jpgMindfulness Meditation

This twice-monthly class is for cancer patients, survivors, caregivers and health care providers interested in learning and practicing mindfulness meditation and movement.  More details about the mindfulness class

Support Group for Young Adults

Our monthly support group is dedicated to young adults 18-39 years old. Meetings begin with a 30-minute presentation, followed by a short break and group discussion facilitated by Lurie Cancer Center Staff.

Our monthly support group is for young adults between 18 and 39 years old who have been diagnosed with cancer. Meetings begin with a 30-minute presentation, followed by a short break and group discussion.  Meetings take place on the first Wednesday of each month from 6 – 7:30 p.m. in Galter Pavilion, 21st floor conference room.

To register for this group please contact Rina Fox, PhD

Palliative Care

Cancer and its treatment can result in a wide array of symptoms and side effects that challenge your body, mind and spirit. Palliative care services aim to improve quality of life by relieving pain and other symptoms.. It can begin at any stage of illness and be provided together with treatment.

Palliative medicine specialist, Melanie Smith, MD, works with young adults, their loved ones,  and their care team to ensure treatment plans are consistent with each individual’s goals and values.

To learn more or to schedule an appointment, please call the Palliative Care and Symptom Management Services Program at 312-926-0001.

Supportive Care Team

Psychologists, social workers, dietitians, and a fertility preservation navigator are among the experts dedicated to providing support and services for young adults with cancer.  Meet our patient support team

Surveillance and Survivorship Care

Young adults have access to survivorship services offered within the Cancer Survivorship Institute, including specialized survivorship clinics offering long-term follow-up care.


Our Experts

Led by Stacy Sanford, PhD, our experts work together in a multidisciplinary team (including dedicated, talented nursing staff and Lurie Cancer Center’s Supportive Oncology Team) to help create a comprehensive, individualized treatment plan and provide you with exceptional support. Get to know our physicians and the many other experts who will play an important role in your care.

Clinical Trials

The Lurie Cancer Center is typically involved in more than 300 clinical trials at a given time, covering a broad range of subjects that may be relevant to your diagnosis. Browse our clinical trials to participate and help test new treatments.

Contact Us

For more information about the AYA Oncology Program and related services, contact Stacy Sanford, PhD, at 312-695-2356.
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