Why YCS are needed

Every year in Australia about 1000 young people aged 15-25 years are diagnosed with cancer. Cancer is tough for anyone to deal with, but especially for young people when they are already dealing with major physical, psychological and social changes.

Adolescent and young adult patients have unique and complex needs. Study and work, independence, sexuality, peers, relationships, finances … they’ve already got a lot going on! A cancer diagnosis adds new challenges for young people and their families. They often need different types of psychosocial support, and for longer.

Young patients’ treatment needs are different too. It is internationally recognised that when a young person is treated in a hospital with specialists who are experts in their cancer type, their chance of survival is significantly improved.

For these reasons, the Australian Government has provided funding, administered by Canteen, to establish and develop Youth Cancer Services across Australia.

About 70% of newly diagnosed young cancer patients are now being treated and supported through Youth Cancer Services.

Why choose a YCS?

Youth Cancer Services provide young patients with:

  • specialist care by an expert team of medical and allied health professionals with experience in treating cancer in young people
  • treatment that is planned and managed by a multidisciplinary team
  • a designated Cancer Care Coordinator– a nursing or allied health consultant who will be their personal guide through the often confusing health system
  • psychosocial care to meet the unique needs of young people, including help coping with cancer and side effects, and help returning to your family, community, school and/or work after treatment ends
  • access to fertility preservation information and options
  • improved access to new clinical trials and research
  • respect – treatment and support that recognises and values individual diversity
  • youth-friendly environments – with other patients of similar age and age-appropriate facilities.

Read more about who is on a YCS team.