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New funding to re-envision young adult cancer care in BC

October 15, 2019
By: 
Ali Blythe

School of Leadership Studies Assistant Prof. Cheryl Heykoop has been awarded a $15,000 grant by the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research to re-envision young adult cancer care in BC.

The funding will support 20 young adults with cancer and 20 cancer care allies in BC to come together for a two-day meeting to share their experiences and insights, and to identify priorities in improving care.

“People aged 18 to 39 represent four per cent of cancer diagnoses each year nationally and yet our cancer care systems have limited capacity to meet their complex needs,” says Heykoop.

A survivor of cancer as a young adult herself, Heykoop says that young adult cancer care is also generally underrepresented in cancer education and research.

“Research shows that young adults with cancer have a clear understanding of how their care could be improved and want to play an active role in doing so,” says Heykoop.

The project is co-led by Catherine Clelland at BC Cancer in collaboration with InspireHealth Victoria, BC Ministry of Health, Young Adult Cancer Canada, BC SUPPORT Unit, Callanish Society and the Innovation Support Unit at UBC. It builds from the participatory action research grant Heykoop was awarded earlier this year.

Heykoop will be keynote speaker at the 2019 BC Cancer Summit in Vancouver Nov. 21 to 23. The summit provides oncology education and professional development for oncology professionals from all specialties and disciplines.