Sylvester Celebrates AYA Cancer Awareness Week

2 min read  |  April 04, 2023  | 

Life changed in an instant when a lump on 17-year-old Jordan Cisneros’ neck turned out to be cancer.

“I was in school, when I first noticed it,” says Jordan.

“To be honest, it’s probably the scariest feeling in the world,” says Selgrys Cisneros, Jordan’s mom.

Jordan and his mom met with Warren Alperstein, M.D., a pediatric hematologist-oncologist at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, who diagnosed him with Burkitt’s lymphoma.

“Burkitt’s lymphoma is a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. You see it in ages under 30,” Dr. Alperstein says.

Jordan falls into a special population of patients called AYA or adolescent and young adults.

As an NCI-designated cancer center, Sylvester is uniquely positioned to help AYA patients who are between the ages of 15 and 39, bridge the gap between pediatric and adult cancers.

“With our AYA program, we are integrated,” says Dr. Alperstein. “I always tell families when I see them that you’re seeing my face but know that it’s not just my opinion. You have opinions of at least 15 to 20 other physicians behind me that are supporting this treatment plan and diagnosis.”

Sylvester offers a support system of services to address the unique needs of these patients.

“The social workers, they try to find little grants, here and there, for food, transportation. The psychology team, they offer you their services. The entire team has been fantastic,” Selgrys says.

After three rounds of chemotherapy, Jordan and his mom got some great news! His pet scan is clear!

“Nice!” says Jordan.

Warren Alperstein, M.D. is a pediatric hematologist-oncologist at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. For more information about the AYA Program for Adolescent and Young Adult Cancers, click here.

Video transcript compiled by Janna Ross for ‘Focusing on You: Innovations in Modern Medicine,’ a series of healthcare-related stories airing regularly on WPLG Local 10.  For more stories like this one, visit UHealth’s YouTube channel.

Tags: adolescent cancers, Burkitt’s lymphoma, childhood cancers, Dr. Warren Alperstein, focusing on you, lymphoma, pediatric oncologist, pediatric oncology, young adult cancers

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