A Healthier U

By Brynn Fowler, MPH; Anne Kirchhoff, Ph.D., MPH and Lor Randall, M.D.

map-and-compassPatients diagnosed with cancer between the ages of 15-39 sometimes enter a “no-man’s-land” of cancer care. These adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients may not fit the usual profiles for either pediatric or adult oncology, as they have a unique set of emotional, physical, and practical needs.

For AYAs, cancer can interrupt education, work, marriage and parenthood. Also, more young adults in their twenties are uninsured than older adults, so access to timely diagnosis and follow-up care can be challenging. AYAs with cancer require age-tailored supportive care to address their unique needs and link them with appropriate clinical trials.

The Huntsman Intermountain-Adolescent and Young Adult (HI-AYA) oncology program is a new initiative to support AYAs undergoing cancer treatment in Utah. The first of its kind in the Intermountain West, this program aims to improve AYAs’ receipt of timely care with the best treatment, survivorship, fertility and supportive services such as financial counseling. Through cross-institutional collaborations, the HI-AYA oncology program links resources and key experts from Huntsman Cancer Institute, Intermountain Healthcare, Primary Children’s Hospital and community oncology providers to ensure all AYAs with cancer in Utah have the immediate and long-term support necessary to meet their unique needs. Patient navigators will coordinate clinical care from diagnosis through treatment and address survivorship issues as well, connecting AYA cancer patients with services throughout Utah.

The HI-AYA oncology program is led by Lor Randall, M.D., director of Sarcoma Services at Primary Children’s Hospital and Huntsman Cancer Institute. Anne Kirchhoff and her team recently received funding from the Utah Department of Health’s Department of Cancer Control to evaluate oncology needs for AYAs with cancer in Utah. Through this program, the team hopes to transform the care, treatment, and long-term well-being of AYAs with cancer.

For more information about this program, contact Anne Kirchhoff at anne.kirchhoff@hci.utah.edu.

Parents tell their kids to brush and floss their teeth regularly, but are they following their own advice?New data compiled by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that plenty of adults don’t brush or floss often enough. In oral health assessments from 2011 to 2012, dentists found that 91% of Americans between ages 20 and 64 have had cavities and 27 percent had untreated tooth decay.Click here to read the full story on HealthFeed.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in America, with more than 5 million people treated each year. Of all the states, Utah has the highest rate of new cases of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Risk for melanoma doubles for people who have had more than five sunburns. Here, Glen Bowen, M.D., a skin cancer specialist at University of Utah Health Care’s Huntsman Cancer Institute, explains how to protect yourself, and defines the ABCDE warning signs of skin cancer.

Read the full story here.

For more expert health news and information, visit healthcare.utah.edu/healthfeed.

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