Adolescent & Young Adult (AYA) Oncology Program
Adolescents and young adults who are currently being treated for cancer, or who have completed cancer treatment, have emotional and social needs that are different than their younger counterparts. They're facing a frightening diagnosis and treatment during what is already a time of great physical, social and emotional change.
For these patients, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) offers unique resources that are tailored to meet the needs of adolescents and young adults. This is the Adolescent & Young Adult (AYA) Oncology Program.
Teens who are at CHOP for treatment can now spend their downtime in one of our new teen-friendly lounges. These spaces are away from the main waiting area, and set up for older patients to gather on the couch and watch TV, play video games and more.
- Day Hospital AYA room
- Outpatient clinic Teen Room sponsored by Teen Cancer America
- Inpatient Teen Smiles Room
*Please note that the inpatient room is not always open. If you are interested in utilizing this space, please reach out to a Child Life team member.
Cancer Center 'Stronger Together' AYA Support Groups
The Cancer Center holds virtual support groups for teens and young adults (high-school aged and older) where patients have a chance to connect with others going through similar experiences and find support. Two groups are currently running: on-treatment and off-treatment groups, both facilitated by a staff psychologist. For more information, please text message to 856-500-2270.
To receive emails about upcoming AYA events, please fill out this form or ask your social worker to add your email to the distribution list.
*This email group is NOT a way to reach out with any clinical concerns. These should be addressed directly with your clinical team members.
Programming for AYA with cancer
A number of CHOP programs cater to teens and young adults with cancer. Some programs were developed for the Cancer Center by our psychosocial team members and others are available hospital-wide.
We offer both inpatient and outpatient activities, such as:
- Inpatient Activities: CHOP offers many inpatient programs like Art and Music Therapy at bedside, available by referral. Services such as yoga and acupuncture may be available through our Integrative Oncology Program.
- Outpatient Activities:
- Onsite in the Teen Room in Buerger and the Day Hospital; weekly AYA music therapy group.
- Offsite: We offer a variety of activities and outings throughout the year such as Bowling, Philadelphia Sports Outings (i.e. Phillies, 76ers), Mural Arts Tour, Escape Room, Pumpkin Patch.
- Voorhees, NJ Activities: “Together Brave” Group
Art and music
Art and music therapists with expertise in AYA lead individual and group therapy sessions in the Wood Center. Our Artist-in-Residence is on the unit once a week to make art with patients of all ages. These activities are available by referral.
A $50,000 gift from seven-time GRAMMY® winner Taylor Swift, was used to create specialized programming for teens treated at CHOP’s Cancer Center. The first initiative is a high-tech music therapy cart for teens to create and produce their own music while they go through cancer treatment.
Battle of the Bands
Battle of the Bands is an annual event where CHOP's teen and young adult patients, joined by their friends and families (ages 11 and up, please!) can enjoy a night out with excellent live music, age-appropriate crafts, photo opportunities, giveaways, and fun food -- all provided for free.
Seacrest Studios (located in the Main Hospital) offers many services that our AYA patients can enjoy, such as access to a VR cart, media cart, and Apple TV to watch new movies that have not been released to purchase yet.
AYA adventure camps
Survivor Summit for young adult cancer survivors, founded in 2011, began as an adventure taking cancer survivors to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro. Survivor Summit is an extended family with a passion for breaking down barriers and striving to make a lasting impact on the lives of others. Like so many, we have been impacted deeply by cancer and its consequences and we do not intend on allowing it to limit a world of adventure and possibility. Now, we set our sights on a new and exciting adventure with young adult cancer survivors.
Camp Mak-A-Dream empowers survivors and their families to live with and beyond cancer through life-changing Montana experiences where they strengthen life skills, gain resilience and develop lasting relationships.
First Descents provides life-changing outdoor adventures for young adults (ages 18 - 39) impacted by cancer and other serious health conditions.
AYA mentors spotlight
AYAs who have completed cancer treatment serve as mentors to AYAs currently receiving treatment. Meet some of the AYA mentors who listen, answer questions, share experiences and provide support to patients here at CHOP.