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Pediatric Cancer Care

Support Services for Adolescent & Young Adults

Take advantage of the wide range of health care support services for adolescents and young adults (AYA) with cancer at University Health. We are here to guide you along every step of your journey and support your individual recovery.

Support Beyond Medical Treatments

You may be just finishing high school, starting a career or establishing a family. Everyday life and transitions are already stressors to the mind and body. Experts agree that your age group needs extra help to navigate a cancer diagnosis's challenges successfully. Count on our help to adjust to your cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Dedicated AYA Nurse Navigator

Rely on your AYA nurse navigator, a registered nurse with oncology-specific knowledge, to serve as a knowledgeable resource. Your nurse navigator understands the cancer patient journey and our health care system. Look for your nurse navigator to help you and your family:

  • Understand your cancer diagnosis
  • Communicate with your multidisciplinary care team
  • Make informed treatment decisions
  • Plan and schedule treatments
  • Locate support resources
  • Understand health benefits and insurance claims

Coping with AYA Cancer

You don’t need to face cancer on your own. Specialized staff can help you take care of physical problems and feelings before, during and after cancer treatment, including:

  • Genetic counselor
    • Helps you understand genetic risk factors for certain types of cancer
    • Makes referrals to counselors trained to help you cope with decisions arising from genetic testing
  • Nutritionist
    • Proposes food choices for a healthy diet to help you feel better
  • Oncology social worker
    • Assists with the emotional, social and physical impact of a cancer diagnosis
    • Improves communication with family and friends
    • Teaches stress reduction techniques
    • Provides information on community resources for aid with lodging, transportation or food
    • Eases adjustment to medical treatment
  • Psychiatrist and psychologist
    • Treats emotional effects of cancer during or after cancer therapy
    • Prescribes medications to alleviate emotional symptoms
  • Rehabilitation therapist
    • Provides physical, occupational, speech or recreational therapy services to help you regain functions compromised during cancer treatment

Fertility Counseling

Look to our fertility specialist to help bridge the gap between cancer and reproductive care. Cancer and treatments can affect a person’s ability to have children. Our pediatric oncology doctors team up with UT Health San Antonio obstetrics and gynecology to create a fertility preservation plan before treatment.

We can help preserve hope for having biological children after cancer. Fertility services before cancer treatments include:

  • Egg freezing and storage for females
  • Sperm freezing and storage for males
  • Hormonal suppression

AYA Hospital Care and Lounge

Find the largest dedicated AYA oncology hospital unit in Texas at University Hospital on the 10th floor of the Horizon Tower. You’ll get coordinated care and stay close to other patients your age if you need hospitalization.

Pass time in our AYA lounge (for ages 18-39) at University Hospital, where you can relax and socialize with other patients. Lounge amenities include:

  • Coffee and snacks
  • Do-it-yourself art projects
  • Full-body massage chairs
  • Gaming equipment
  • Lending library

Extra Resources

Ask your support team how to find more resources to take care of yourself, such as:

  • Community help
  • Support groups or online communities
  • School support

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