The number of young adult cancer patients is growing at an alarming rate. Each year, nearly 70,000 adolescents and young adults, ages 15 to 39, are diagnosed with cancer. In contrast to patients both younger and older, survival rates for young adults have not improved since the early 1970s.

Rise Above It (RAI) exists to help change this disturbing trend.


Charter Member of LIVESTRONG Young Adult Alliance
Livestrong Alliance

Now formally known as Critical Mass

Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology: The Issues

Cancer is the leading disease killer of adolescents and young adults (AYAs). Often times young patients are caught between the worlds of pediatric and adult oncology. Young adults tend to be diagnosed with different types of cancer than older and younger patients, and the biological differences that exist result in different treatment needs. Research on young adults has been constrained by their exceedingly low participation in the relatively few clinical trials available to them, in part because diagnosing physicians seldom refer these patients to trials. Poor understanding of patient and tumor biology that distinguishes cancers in this population has contributed to minimal advances in treatment.

RAI supports major ongoing AYAO-specific research initiatives emphasizing AYA clinical trials and outcomes research, which are critical to improving survival rates for young adults affected by cancer. Collaboration and support from numerous governmental, academic, public health, community-based, and other private sector entities are essential to success.

Did you know? Unlike pediatric cancer patients, few young adults participate in treatment clinical trials. More than 90 percent of patients with cancer under age 15 are treated at institutions that participate in NCI-sponsored clinical trials, and as many as two-thirds of these children are enrolled in clinical trials. RAI supports increased involvement in trials amongst the young adult population by providing accurate clinical trials information, and financial assistance for patients requiring travel support to participate in trials.

Find Out More



Rise Above It (RAI) creates an immediate positive impact on the lives of adolescents and young adults affected by cancer.



Are you an adolescent or young adult fighting cancer? Don’t fight alone!