Framework for the care and support for adolescents and young adults with cancer

This national vision of comprehensive care and support for adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with cancer as well as survivors will lead to improved outcomes and better quality of life

cover of AYA framework


The most frequent types of cancers in adolescents and young adults are thyroid, breast, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, testicular and melanoma.

The overall rate of cancer for AYAs has gone up since 1992. However, the five-year relative survival ratio has greatly increased, with survivors living 50 to 60 years beyond their diagnosis and treatment.

Addressing the unique needs of adolescents and young adults with cancer

This Framework for the care and support of AYAs with cancer describes a national vision. It was created to make sure AYAs have meaningful participation in their cancer experience and achieve the best outcomes through their care and survivorship, as well as compassionate end-of life support when needed. The Framework also addresses AYAs’ unique needs, given their vulnerable and highly dynamic life stage. Accordingly, strategic actions identified in the Framework will drive leadership and promote alignment of national and local efforts to provide AYAs and survivors with optimal care and support.

The Partnership is the steward of the recently refreshed 2019 to 2029 Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control (the Strategy), which offers the opportunity to support the Framework and move its vision into action. The Strategy calls for better support of children, adolescents and young adults with cancer, given their unique challenges, by expanding access to a wide range of integrated services.

Four strategic priorities

The Framework defines four strategic priorities to guide the evolution of AYA care:

  1. Integrate an AYA-centred experience throughout care and survivorship.
  2. Deliver interdisciplinary, integrated and comprehensive care and survivorship support that address the unique needs of AYAs with cancer.
  3. Increase access to cutting-edge approaches to care and survivorship support for AYAs with cancer.
  4. Drive evidence-based improvements for AYAs with cancer.

Supporting platforms

These strategic priorities are enabled by cross-cutting, supporting platforms:

  • Partnerships
    Collaborations at all levels, both across and outside of the health system, are used to leverage resources, share insights and improve care and outcomes for AYAs with cancer.
  • Workforce
    A team of qualified healthcare professionals and support staff are educated on and skilled to address the specific needs of AYAs with cancer.
  • Research
    Studies, including clinical trials, are designed to address the unique needs of AYAs with cancer and evolve our approaches to care and survivorship for this age group.
  • Data
    Information and datasets of relevance to AYAs are collected, evaluated and used by stakeholders across the priorities and at all levels for improved decision-making.

The Framework details each strategic priority and supporting platform, which is associated with a set of actions to be considered at the individual, service and system levels.

The Framework also describes the actions in their appropriate context and what success should look like after their implementation.

Framework tools

The Framework at a glance, slide presentation and summary of strategic priorities and enabling platforms are tools that can help you share the Framework.

More general resources on adolescents and young adults

Access more resources on AYAs with cancer under Topics.

Downloadable content

Framework at a glance

File size 806 KB

Brief slide presentation

File size 16 MB