In the first blog of this series, I discussed how young adults (18-39 years of age) living with cancer may be trying to navigate unique challenges because of their age at diagnosis. There are important life milestones that are supposed to take place during this developmental period and receiving a cancer diagnosis during this time period is rare. It is unfortunately common for institutions to not have supports directed toward this specific cancer population. Therefore, provincial/territorial and national communities and resources are important and can help empower young people to live well with cancer. However, if you are living with a metastatic/advanced cancer, you may feel that your needs are not adequately met nor reflected through general young adult survivorship resources.
Information, support and community resources that are developed specifically for young people living with an advanced cancer can help provide important information and connect people to those who understand the challenges they are experiencing, which in turn can help people to live well while managing advanced illness. The specific information these resources cover can help to demystify topics like palliative care. The following seven resources can be used as starting points for young people living with metastatic/advanced cancer to begin forming a community of supporters and gathering informational resources:
1) LivingOutLoud.Life by Virtual Hospice: This resource was developed with and is specifically for young people and teens who are living with advanced illness. It covers topics such as sexuality, decision-making, daily life, relationships, and self.
2) #AYACSM (Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Societal Movement): #AYACSM is used to group and connect AYA content on all social media platforms, and often includes content that is for those living with metastatic/advanced cancer.
3) Young Adult Cancer Canada: This Canadian organization often has offerings specifically for those living with advanced/metastatic disease. This has included a group for those living with advanced and metastatic cancer.
4) Imerman Angels: This American organization connects cancer survivors with those who have been through a similar cancer experience based on cancer type, stage, age, and lifestyle.
5) Queering Cancer: This organization is working to transform cancer care for the LGBTQ2+ community by improving research, resources, and support for patients, families, caregivers, and healthcare professionals. They offer links to information for those living with an advanced cancer.
6) Stupid Cancer’s CancerCon: Stupid Cancer’s CancerCon has historically featured meetups and sessions just for those living with metastatic disease. I have previously developed sessions for this conference for those living with metastatic/advanced cancer. Keep an eye on their website as they update their offerings for 2024.
7) Rethink Breast Cancer: This Canadian organization provides information and resources for young women living with metastatic/advanced breast cancer.
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