Adolescent & young adults (AYA) oncology education

Adolescents and young adults with cancer experience a unique range of issues that differ from children and older adults as the timing of ill-health coincides with a period critical growth and development.

On Trac

For healthcare professionals caring for young people and their families, understanding and responding to these issues is essential to support the delivery of high quality care.

The ONTrac at Peter Mac Victorian Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Service in collaboration with organisational partners in health, community and tertiary education, have developed a range of education and training opportunities for professionals across the health, community and education sectors.

Postgraduate education

Graduate Certificate in Adolescent Health & Wellbeing (Oncology)

The Graduate Certificate is offered by the Centre for Adolescent Health through the Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne. The course combines four subjects from the Adolescent Health & Wellbeing postgraduate program that is essential to understanding the context and development of young people, with curricula specific to the biology, treatment and experience of cancer in young people.

Short courses

AYA Cancer Care Series

This two-day seminar series explores key issues in and approaches to the physical, emotional and psychosocial care of young people with cancer.

Cancer Care Series 1 

Friday May 17, 2019; 8:30am-3:30pm; Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Topics include: AYA epidemiology and common malignancies, mental and physical health and wellbeing, school, education and vocational needs, AYA referral pathways and clinical resources. The patient experience and strategies for supportive care are also explored through an interactive case-based discussion.


Cancer Care Series 2 

Monday October 28, 2019; 8:30am-3:30pm; Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Topics include: AYA care frameworks, fertility management, survivorship and palliative care. Ethics and self-care in working with young people is explored in an interactive afternoon session. 

Registrations for Cancer Care Series 2 will open in July 2019.

For additional information on Series 1 and 2, please contact ONTrac at Peter Mac on (03)8559-6880.

eLearning for health professionals

The Centre for Adolescent Health together with the ONTrac at Peter Mac have developed two free online modules in adolescent & young adult cancer care

Part 1: Cancer Care for Adolescents & Young Adults. This module provides a foundation of understanding around the developmental context of adolescence before exploring topics such as the common cancers affecting young people, how cancer differs in the AYA population and the importance of clinical trials.

Part 2: Cancer Care for Adolescents & Young Adults. This module explores the range of physical, emotional and psychosocial impacts of cancer and its treatment on young people, effective communication and engagement strategies, and key national AYA cancer care initiatives.

Multidisciplinary clinical and student placements

ONTrac at Peter Mac offers a number of clinical and student placements throughout the year at undergraduate and masters level. If you are interested in placement opportunities please speak to the placement coordinator at your education institution.

Useful websites

Youth Cancer Services are a Commonwealth Government funded initiative coordinated by CanTeen Australia delivering specialised treatment, information and support services for young people with cancer aged 15-25 years.

The Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA) is the peak national body representing health professionals from all disciplines whose work involves the care of cancer patients. COSA has produced a number of AYA guidelines to inform clinical practice which are updated as new evidence becomes available, informing clinical practice according to the best and most recent scientific evidence available.

The Paediatric Integrated Cancer Service (PICS) has been established as part of the Victorian Government's cancer reform strategy. Partnering with The Royal Children’s Hospital, Monash Health, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, the PICS aims to improve Victorian paediatric cancer care, working with the paediatric cancer community to establish coordinated services that are consistent, evidence based and family-centred.

Cancer Australia is a national government agency working to reduce the impact of cancer on all Australians. The Cancer Learning website is a trusted source of evidenced based AYA information for young people, their friends and family, clinicians and researchers.