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J Psychosoc Oncol. 2007;25(3):99-112. doi: 10.1300/J077v25n03_06.

Psychosocial issues of the adolescent cancer patient and the development of the Teenage Outreach Program (TOP).

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Leukemia/Lymphoma Program, Division of Haematology/Oncology, the Department of Social Work, SickKids, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, ON M5G 1X8.


For young people with cancer their process through adolescence is marked with disruption. The demands of treatment and resulting social isolation combined with issues of body image/self-esteem complicate this turbulent life cycle transition. The effects of'these disruptions require psychosocial staff to utilize creative approaches to treatment. The framework of the Teen Outreach Program (TOP) is to connect teens with leukemia/lymphoma to one another, and to reconnect them back with their peers by engaging them in "normal" events. The overwhelming response highlights the positive effect on teenagers' psychosocial health, thereby solidifying the importance of providing innovative therapeutic interventions for this under-serviced population. Further studies of the long-term impact of the program's success are warranted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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