Young Adult Cancer

Ewing sarcoma is a rare type of cancer that forms in the bones and soft tissue of children, teenagers and young adults. Options for treatment have yet to move past chemotherapy and radiation.
Generally, only about 5 to 10% of cancer diagnoses are traced to an inherited factor or gene mutation, but in the young adult (ages 18-39) population, experts say it’s likely higher.

Three years ago, Danielle Ossher was excited about starting a new life in Buffalo with her husband, Pete. They had been living in Boston, Massachusetts, where they met in college, but after 10 years, the couple began to think about moving to Western New York, because Pete was from Buffalo.

“A diagnosis of cancer has the potential to stop everything. It can delay or even eliminate large portions of your timeline and life goals, such as when or how to start a family.”
"It felt like my whole world was turned upside down. No 23-year-old expects something like this would happen to them.”
Caitlin's plans came to a halt the day she learned that the swollen lymph nodes in her neck and underarm that she believed were from her bouts with recurrent mononucleosis, were actually cancer.
Dating is difficult enough. Add cancer into the mix and it creates a whole new series of questions.
Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men between the ages of 20 and 35, including some men who hope to become fathers in the future. Whether the treatment plan includes surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy, the patient's fertility can be at risk.

Cervical cancer is frequently diagnosed in young women, and a very important question many women receiving this diagnosis have is how this will affect their fertility and ability to carry a pregnancy.

Dr. Rokitka is the newly appointed Director of the Young Adult Program and Oncofertility Program, and for years she has quietly helped many of our cancer survivors plan and finance the process of starting a family.

"There's a lot of evidence that for someone who's overweight, losing even a small amount — five pounds, 10 pounds — can reduce the chances that they'll be diagnosed with cancer."

For most young adults, their 20s and 30s are for graduations, starting careers or families – not for fighting cancer. Having cancer as a young adult is never on anyone’s five-year plan. If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer in your 20s or 30s, we know you probably feel overwhelmed and have a lot of questions.