The Youth Cancer Service WA is based in the You Can Centre within the WA Comprehensive Cancer Centre at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. The You Can Centre is the first of its kind in Australia and is specifically for young people aged 15-25 with cancer. The unique space has been designed with input from a youth advisory group to reflect the needs, technology, design and colours that embody young people’s preferences and attitudes allowing the social aspect of life to be maintained whilst undergoing treatment. Facilities include bright group and recreation spaces, counselling spaces, computers and other technology. A refurbished 4 bed inpatient and a designated day treatment area ensures that young people can receive comprehensive treatment and support in youth appropriate spaces.
We provide specialist medical advice and care for 15 – 25 year olds with cancer. Our YCS Clinician works closely with other cancer specialists to ensure that patients have access to medical expertise relevant to youth health and for their specific type of cancer. The Youth Cancer Services’ contribute to targeted research which will lead to a better understanding of cancer in young people and contribute towards advances in treatment and survival.
Adolescents and young adults with cancer face unique psychosocial needs during and after cancer treatment. An initial assessment is conducted to allow our team of nursing and allied health staff to work closely together to create a plan that will address your priorities during and beyond treatment.
Psychosocial support may include engaging with a young person’s family, partner and friends to ensure a support network can be strengthened and maintained. We strive to empower young people to be involved in their own health care and decisions, whilst remaining as connected as possible to ‘normal’ life activities throughout their cancer journey.
Our Cancer Care Coordinators are registered nurses who are available to cancer patients and their families to provide support and assistance in coordinating treatment. This includes supporting you in all aspects of your medical and psychosocial care and providing general cancer education in an age specific and accessible way. They will also help you to navigate the complicated health care system and access support services related to your treatment and care.
A cancer diagnosis in AYA patients often interrupts school, university or vocational studies which can have long-term effects on patient experiences after treatment and into adulthood. Our service aims to identify the specific educational and vocational needs for each patient and provide support during and after treatment. We can link patients into other services as needed to facilitate ongoing maintenance of educational and vocational goals and provide advocacy with the young person’s teaching institution or vocational training service.
Research and Clinical Trials
We are actively involved in national clinical trials and a range of research as part of our efforts to improve the treatments for young people with cancer. There is strong evidence that clinical trials improve cancer survival and our service aims to open up clinical trials for the common AYA tumour groups and to support AYA research. Please contact us if you would like more information on how you can access clinical trials through our services.