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Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Care & Support

Every year in Canada, over 8,300 Adolescents and Young Adults (AYA), ages 15-39, are diagnosed with cancer. AYAs have unique needs and challenges. Below is a collection of resources to help navigate these challenges and get support.
BC Cancer Resources

Dealing with cancer can cause intense emotions.  Over one third of people with cancer experience emotional distress at some point.

Individuals, couples, caregivers, and families can talk to our counsellors in-person or over the phone, or attend counsellor-led support groups at our regional centres, throughout cancer treatment and beyond.

Visit our Patient & Family Counselling page for more information and contact details.

Young Adults Art Therapy group

This group focuses on topics specific to young adults with cancer, exploring creative journaling and art exercises together. The group meets the second Tuesday of the month on Zoom and connects members with others who are the same age. 

Register for the Art Therapy Group

Family Art Therapy Program

Support is available for families who have a parent living with cancer.  Therapy is targeted to families with kids who are about 3 – 16 years old.

Individual and family art therapy sessions are also available by appointment.  These are offered in person at Vancouver centre or online over Zoom.  Any family in B.C. can join.

Register for the Family Art Therapy Program

Other art therapy groups

We have many other art therapy support groups, for all people with cancer.  Check out Art Therapy for more information.

Support groups

We offer other support groups for some types of cancer. Anyone is welcome to join.  Go to Support Programs and click on the calendar at the top of the page. 


The BC Cancer Library has many resources for patients and families. Our librarians can answer your questions, help you find information, and send resources to you by email or mail.  

Each BC Cancer regional centre has a library or cancer information centre.

Our librarians have lists of resources, called Pathfinders, on many topics from coping with a diagnosis, to specific cancer types, and more.  Young adults and teenagers with cancer pathfinder

Contact a librarian today!


Check out our resources on coping with cancer, managing stress, dealing with grief, and more.


You may need to stop working after your cancer diagnosis or you may have difficulty paying for medical and non-medical costs.  

Information on financial support: 

A counsellor can assess your situation and provide referrals to programs or services. Make a counselling appointment with Patient & Family Counselling Services at your local cancer centre.

Cancer and its treatments can affect your work and education plans. You may need information and support.

Our Vocational Rehabilitation page has information that can help:

  • Resources
  • Groups
  • How to connect with our vocational rehabilitation counsellor

Regular exercise is safe and recommended before, during, and after cancer treatment.

Our Exercise Support page has handouts, videos, common questions, and more.‎


Our Family Support page has resources on:

  • talking to children or teens about a cancer diagnosis
  • taking care of yourself if you are caring for someone with cancer
  • helping children cope with a cancer diagnosis in their family

BC Cancer is a welcoming space for gender and sexual minorities. This inclues all members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ (two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual) spectrum.

Check out the resources in our 2SLGBTQIA+ Health Pathfinder

To learn more about our working group on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE), visit our Safer Space page.

‎Our Indigenous Patient Navigators (IPN) work with the cancer team to deliver supportive, trauma-informed, and culturally safe care to Indigenous patients and their families. Patients who identify as Indigenous, First nations, Metis, Inuit, Status and Non-Status, can access IPN services. 

Visit our Indigenous Patient Navigator page for contact information.  

To learn more about our Indigenous Cancer Strategy, visit Indigenous Cancer Control.

Indigenous Health Pathfinder: Key Resources

Hereditary cancer happens when a gene mutation that increases cancer risk is passed down from a parent to a child. Being born with that gene mutation means that a person has a higher chance to develop specific types of cancer, and may have cancer at a younger than average age.

Hereditary cancer is not common. Less than 10% of all cancer is hereditary. That means that less than 1 of every 10 cancers is caused by a gene mutation that is passed down in a family.

For more information, visit Hereditary Cancer.

Visit Clinical Trials to find out more and see which trials are offered at each of our centres.

Clinical Trials Pathfinder: Key Resources

More Resources
Anew Research Collaborative

Anew is a research program at Royal Roads University dedicated to reshaping young adult cancer care.  Visit their resources collection developed  with young adults and cancer care providers. 

BC Children's Hospital: Transition to Adult Care 

BC Children's Hospital has developed the ON TRAC model to help youth, families, and care providers prepare for the changes that occur in adulthood, and the differences to expect as they transfer and participate in the adult health care system.


Callanish creates a healing space for those who are living and/or dying with cancer. Callanish offers weeklong retreats and supportive programming including for younger adults.


InspireHealth provides programs and services to support physical, emotional, and spiritual health during and after cancer treatment. 

Young Adult Cancer Canada (YACC)

YACC supports young adults with cancer, providing a bridge out of isolation, information, peer support, and more. Check out their resources today.

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