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Adult nursing
Adolescents and young adults are a unique patient group whose diagnosis of cancer presents challenges that require in-depth, individual assessment
  1. Nicola Pettitt
  1. Teenage Cancer Trust, London, UK, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Nicola Pettitt, Teenage Cancer Trust, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Coventry University, Birmingham B15 2GW, UK; nicola.pettitt{at}

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Commentary on: Brauer E, Pieters HC, Ganz PA, et al. Coming of age with cancer: physical, social, and financial barriers to independence among emerging adult survivors. Oncol Nurse Forum 2018;45:148–58.

Implications for practice and research

  • Adolescents and young adults (AYA) present healthcare professionals with a unique set of challenges due to their life stage and associated developmental processes.

  • Consideration needs to be given to the social, emotional, psychological and physical impact of having cancer during the period of emerging adulthood.


There is growing acknowledgement that AYA patients with cancer have a unique set of needs; therefore, they can fall into ‘the gap’ between paediatric and adult settings. Models of age-appropriate care are being internationally developed and established.1 With a multidisciplinary approach to expert clinical practice, appropriate professional education, evidence and research, the essence and principles of age appropriate care are becoming recognised as a distinct specialty. The development of dedicated …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.