Cancer care needs to reach ‘far beyond the hospital’ – CanTeen

October 18, 2017

Effective cancer care needs to reach far beyond the hospital in order to ensure young people’s survival as well as long term health and wellbeing, according to the new Australian Youth Cancer Framework released by CanTeen today.

The framework, which was developed in consultation with young people, their families and a wide range of experts, sets out a national vision to 2020 and beyond for best practice care for young cancer patients.

Every year, around 1,100 young people aged 15-25 are diagnosed with cancer and about 150 will die from the disease.

“While overall survival rates are thankfully high, we face two major challenges in ensuring the best outcomes for young cancer patients,” said CanTeen CEO Peter Orchard.

“The first is finding new treatments for the most deadly cancer types such as bone, brain and some blood cancers, which CanTeen is starting to tackle with new clinical trials funding announced by the Australian Government.

“The second challenge is that a growing number of young cancer survivors are living with life-changing late effects of their cancer and treatment which has a significant impact on their long term health, wellbeing and financial prospects.

“If we are to ensure their survival, health, wellbeing and positive contribution to society,
young people with cancer need specialised age-appropriate care and broad, ongoing support that also reaches far beyond the hospital, Mr Orchard said.

The Australian Youth Cancer Framework sets out priority focus areas and principles for action and is intended to complement and enhance national and local efforts to improve outcomes for young people with cancer, including state-based cancer plans and related policies, health service frameworks, and action plans.

It builds on the National Service Delivery Framework developed by CanTeen and Cancer Australia in 2008, which led to the establishment of the hospital-based Youth Cancer Services (YCS).

The YCS provide specialist, age-appropriate treatment and support for young cancer patients aged 15-25 and are now supporting around 70% of newly diagnosed young people.

The AYCF represents an ongoing commitment to delivering specialist, age appropriate treatment and support to young cancer patients and their families. Over the coming years, the AYCF will inspire future action, policy and investment to ensure Australia can meet new challenges in an evolving healthcare landscape, and allow the greatest number of young cancer patients to benefit from the world-class expertise of the Youth Cancer Services.

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Media contact: Kerry Kalcher, Head of Marketing and Communications
02 9007 0208 / 0405 283 352