5 ways to thrive as a young adult cancer survivor

Here are five ways adolescents and young adult cancer survivors can reduce their health risks and enjoy a lifetime of health and happiness.

Adult survivors of childhood cancer face additional health risks compared with the average adult cancer survivor. By being their own health care advocate, adolescents and young adults can reduce those risks and enjoy a lifetime of health and happiness.

5 ways to thrive as a cancer survivor

1. Become informed.

Knowledge is power. Explore every resource available through your local cancer resource center and community. Take charge — you’re a survivor!

2. Speak with a doctor about fertility after cancer treatment as early as possible.

Norton Cancer Institute’s Adolescent Young Adult (AYA) Program

Learn more about the resources and support we offer to young adult cancer survivors.

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Cancer treatment can damage cells in vital reproductive organs and can lead to infertility later in life. Get regular checkups to know how your fertility may be affected regardless of whether you want children in the future.

3. Rehabilitate and exercise.

Cancer survivors are at increased risk for developing other chronic diseases. Likewise, recovering from cancer treatment may take longer than you expect. Daily physical activity and healthy lifestyle behaviors will improve long-term health and quality of life.

4. Seek out complementary therapies.

Complementary therapies are used together with conventional medicine to treat the whole person. Examples of complementary therapies are art therapy, massage therapy, music therapy, pet therapy, reiki, tai chi and yoga. Many of these are available at Norton Cancer Institute.

5. Join a cancer support group.

Support groups bring people with common experiences together to share and learn from one another.

Norton Cancer Institute offers two resources for young adult cancer survivors:

  • The  Young Adult Transition Clinic provides childhood cancer survivors ages 15 to 39 with knowledge, support and personalized medical care. To learn more, call (502) 629-6888.
  • The Adolescent Young Adult Program provides focused medical care, psychosocial support and educational resources to people ages 18 to 39 diagnosed with cancer.

Gina Morrison, R.N., is an oncology-certified nurse and is the survivorship patient navigator for Norton Cancer Institute.

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