Other support and resources
Several Australian resources and support services are available to AYA patients with cancer and their siblings and parents (see Table). Some of these resources can be ordered for medical clinics and all can be accessed online.
Over the past 10 years, Australian AYA patients with cancer have had access to Youth Cancer Services in each state and territory. These services provide specialist medical, nursing and psychosocial care as well as providing treatment via age-appropriate, peer-supported services. They also allow access to clinical trials for AYAs, enable transition of support between paediatric and adult services, and facilitate long-term, follow-up care. Youth Cancer Services also provide health promotion materials, health surveillance, psychosocial screening and educational, psychological and practical support.
We need better understanding of the reasons behind the differences in long-term survival of AYA patients with cancer compared with adult and paediatric patients, such as biological differences, and difference in responses to, and side effects of, treatment.
Continued primary care for AYA patients and their families by GPs is essential during and after cancer treatment, and should be encouraged even for patients with complex problems. It is important that all AYA patients have a GP who understands their cancer history, is familiar with the potential for medical and psychosocial complications and the benefits of adolescent health care and screening, and can provide support to their siblings and parents. MT
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