Adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer patients, aged 15-39 years at primary cancer diagnosis, form a distinct, understudied, and underserved group in cancer care. This study aimed to assess long-term trends in incidence, survival, and mortality of AYA cancer patients within the Netherlands. Data on all malignant AYA tumours diagnosed between 1990-2016 (n = 95,228) were obtained from the Netherlands Cancer Registry. European age-standardised incidence and mortality rates with average annual percentage change (AAPC) statistics and five-year relative survival rates were calculated. The overall cancer incidence increased from 54.6 to 70.3 per 100,000 person-years (AAPC: +1.37%) between 1990-2016, and increased for both sexes individually and for most cancer types. Five-year relative survival overall improved from 73.7% in 1990-1999 to 86.4% in 2010-2016 and improved for both sexes and most cancer types. Survival remained poor (<60%) for rhabdomyosarcoma, lung, stomach, liver, bladder, and pancreatic carcinomas, among others. Mortality rates among male AYAs overall declined from 10.8 to 6.6 (AAPC: -1.64%) and from 14.4 to 10.1 per 100,000 person-years (AAPC: -1.81%) for female AYAs since 1990. Mortality rates remained unchanged for male AYAs aged 20-24 and 25-29 years. In conclusion, over the past three decades, there has been a considerable increase in cancer incidence among AYAs in the Netherlands. Meanwhile, the survival improved and the mortality overall declined. Survival at five-years now well exceeds above 80%, but did not do so for all cancer types.