Adolescent and young adult cancer patients rank building a support network among friends, family and other cancer survivors as their highest priority, according to a study.
Research from the University of Southern California conducted a surveyof oncologists, psychologists, nurses, social workers and young cancer survivors to assess the needs of this patient group and rank them in terms of importance.
The research shows patients from this age group want to be treated by doctors and nurses sensitive to their concerns, such as coping with feelings of loneliness and isolation, body changes, sexuality, dating and relationships and employment.
Study author Brad Zebrack, of the university's School of Social Work, said: 'Meeting other young people who share a common experience becomes an opportunity for young adult cancer patients and survivors to address common concerns.'
Cancer (2006) Online publication. DOI: 10.1002/cncr.22338