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Patients, Mayo Clinic doctors form support group for young adults battling cancer

Posted: 5:36 AM, May 03, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-03 08:36:33-04

PHOENIX — Young adult cancer diagnoses have skyrocketed in the last few years. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 60,000 adults between 20 to 39 years old are diagnosed with cancer every year across the United States.

While survival rates have improved for pediatric patients and older adults with cancer, this group hasn't seen improvement in decades. Sometimes referred to as the "forgotten group," these patients may find peer support hard to come by.

That's why doctors and patients at the Mayo Clinic came together to create a unique group for these individuals.

Nick Rich battled cancer two times. He's one of the founding members of the Young Adult Cancer Support Group. He says he didn't know where to turn during his difficult time.

"You feel very isolated. You feel very alone. It's interesting because there's a ton of support for kids going through cancer and then there's a ton of support for, like, older people going through cancer and then...that adolescent group, that young adult group, kind of gets left behind," Rich added.

The group meets once a month and is free to attend.

It's open to anyone, not just patients at the Mayo Clinic. For information, email Griffith.Melody@mayo.edu or call 480-342-3470.