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Every year, the National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) sees about 500 newly diagnosed adolescents and young adult (AYA) cancer patients aged between 16-45 years old. This group of patients face unique challenges, including disruption to their education, career, family, social lives and financial hardship. Traditionally, cancer awareness campaigns and resources have been largely focused on older and paediatric cancer patients, with a lack of age-appropriate support for AYA cancer patients. Research has also shown that this lack of info-education can result in much distress. AYA Bytes, a new mobile application was developed by a NCCS team to fill this gap and provide the AYA cancer community with an individualised and reliable source of cancer information.
The mobile app features specially curated cancer-related information for AYA cancer patients with more than 100 cancer-related articles, covering a wide range of topics including cancer treatment, tips to manage symptoms, nutrition, exercise, fertility preservation and mental health. To ensure the content stays relevant, the NCCS AYA team regularly updates and adds new articles to the app. When users first sign up, they are prompted to input details including their age, gender, type and stage of cancer and treatment they are receiving, so that the app creates a personalised dashboard with curated articles for each user. To ensure the personal data of users are kept confidential, all information on the app is limited to the user and host.
“AYA cancer patients are often diagnosed in the prime of their lives and face a host of unique challenges. More can be done to address their care needs and build a support system to empower them to not just live with cancer, but to live well. We hope that AYA Bytes will serve as a companion for AYA cancer patients as a useful, handy resource they can turn to for reliable cancer information anytime during their treatment journey,” said Dr Evelyn Wong, Associate Consultant, Division of Medical Oncology, NCCS, and project lead of AYA Bytes.
To truly meet the specific needs of the AYA community, AYA Bytes was co-created by patients and NCCS doctors. Based on patient feedback, the app includes feature that allows users to track their mood and symptoms, which can be used for their future reference and also shared with doctors during consultations. The app also has an inbuilt algorithm for users to rank how useful they find each article, allowing the app to recommend more relevant articles to enhance their subsequent user experience. The app will be available for NCCS AYA cancer patients from April 2023.
Building for Hope fundraising campaign for AYA cancer patients
In conjunction with AYA awareness week from 3-7 April, NCCS will launch the ‘Building for Hope’ fundraising campaign for AYA cancer patients. In collaboration with fashion entrepreneur Arissa Cheo, a specially designed #BuildingForHope t-shirt will go on sale to raise funds for the cause. Local celebrities and social media influencers including Yoyo Cao and Fiona Xie, will show their support for the campaign by posting selfies while wearing the #BuildingForHope t-shirt. The t-shirt will be available from 1 April 2023 on http://www.allwouldenvy.com, and fifty percent of the proceeds will go towards supporting AYA cancer patients. Those interested to find out more and support the campaign can also visit
“When I was approached to design the campaign t-shirt for NCCS, I knew I had to be a part of it and to use my platforms to help out in any way I could. Cancer is a disease that affects so many people and seeing how a close family member had gone through it greatly impacted me at a young age. AYA cancer patients often face unique challenges and their needs are not always met. Through this campaign, we can help raise awareness and funds to support them on their journey towards hope and healing. I am honoured to contribute to this meaningful cause and hope that together we can make a positive impact and difference to the lives of AYA cancer patients,” said fashion entrepreneur Arissa Cheo.
“It is quite common for AYA cancer patients to overlook the early signs and symptoms of cancer as they are busy with their lives and do not expect to be diagnosed with the disease at a young age. As a result, they are often diagnosed late, potentially affecting their treatment outcomes. Through NCCS’ ‘Building for Hope’ fundraising campaign, we aim to raise public awareness of AYA cancers so that young people who are affected seek help early for timely diagnosis and treatment that will lead to better outcomes,” said Dr Eileen Poon, Consultant, Division of Medical Oncology, NCCS, who is also team lead of the Adolescents and Young Adults Oncology (AYAO) team.
Screenshots of AYA Bytes
‘Building for Hope’ campaign t-shirt designed by Arissa Cheo
For media enquiries, please contact:
Lo Sok Wan
National Cancer Centre Singapore
About the National Cancer Centre Singapore
The National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) is a leading national and regional tertiary cancer centre with specialists who are experts in treating cancer. NCCS attends to the majority of cancer cases in Singapore’s public healthcare sector. In addition to offering holistic and multidisciplinary oncology care, our clinicians and scientists collaborate with local and international partners to conduct robust, cutting-edge clinical and translational research. To achieve its vision of being a global leading cancer centre, NCCS offers world-class care and shares its depth of experience and expertise by training local and overseas medical professionals.
To meet growing healthcare needs, the new NCCS building opened in 2023 with increased capacity and expanded facilities dedicated to cancer care, rehabilitation, research and education. To give patients the best treatment outcomes, advanced and innovative treatment such as proton therapy is offered at the new Goh Cheng Liang Proton Therapy Centre at NCCS.
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