Tony Pasin met with young cancer patients, medical specialists and experts from youth cancer charity CanTeen at a Parliament House breakfast this week.
The event highlighted the achievements of the Youth Cancer Services (YCS), which provide specialist medical and psychological care to 15-25 year olds diagnosed with cancer. YCS are run nationally by CanTeen through Australian Government funding.
“Every day, another three young people aged 15-25 are diagnosed with cancer and because of the Australian Government funding, more than half are now receiving specialist medical and psychological care through the Youth Cancer Services,” Mr Pasin said.
“The journey of a young person with cancer is very different to a child or an adult; whilst most their age are sitting exams, starting university or taking steps towards adulthood, young people with cancer are undergoing treatment without knowing what the future holds,” he added.
Youth Cancer Services provide specialised treatment and support services for young Australians with cancer aged 15-25 throughout the country. It is the only dedicated service in Australia where a young patient can access a full range of cancer care designed specifically for their age group, from medical treatment to counselling, information, access to clinical trials, recreation and financial services.
“It can be an extremely isolating experience for young people treated alongside children or older adults whom they can’t relate to,” said CanTeen CEO Peter Orchard.
“Youth Cancer Services offer gold standard care incorporating a multidisciplinary approach, psychosocial support and other areas which meet the unique physical, emotional and social needs of young people,” he added.
Recognising the early warning signs of cancer for adolescents and young adults is the first step towards timely treatment and achieving the best outcome for these young patients.
The most common signs of cancer in young people aged 15-25 years are unexplained and persistent pain, a bump or swelling, significant weight loss, fatigue and / or fever or changes in a mole. If a young person experiences one or more of these symptoms persistently that they should visit their GP discuss further.
For more information about the Youth Cancer Services, visit http://www.youthcancer.com.au