How we can help and support your work with young people with a cancer experience.
A cancer diagnosis during the adolescent and young adult years can be particularly challenging for young people and their families.
The ONTrac at Peter Mac Victorian Adolescent & Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Service is a state-wide multidisciplinary service specialising in the care of young people aged 15 to 25 and their families.
We work in a variety of ways with and alongside health and community service professionals at Peter Mac and across Victoria to improve outcomes for young people with cancer.
WHY WE EXIST
Young people aged 15 to 25 have:
- unique medical, emotional, social and informational needs compared to older and younger populations (1-3)
- inferior survival rates for some cancer subtypes compared to children and older adults with the same diseases (4)
- significantly higher rates of negative health and socio-economic outcomes across a range of areas that often have lifelong impacts (physical, social, emotional, educational/vocational and financial) (1-3, 5)
CLINICAL SUPPORT AREAS
We work directly with patients and/or support health professionals in their work with young people in relation to the following areas:
- Diagnosis and disease management (including clinical trials)
- Palliative and survivorship care management
- General adolescent health assessment and review
- Therapeutic counselling
- Physical health, exercise and nutrition
- School, education and employment support
- Music therapy
- Legal and financial support pathways
- Fertility and sexual health pathways
- Genetic counselling pathways
The service values a patient-focused and family-inclusive approach, including support for partners and peers. Information, resources and community referrals are also provided.
HOW WE CAN HELP
This service is aimed at supporting health care professionals from across Victoria and Tasmania in delivering youth friendly care. Provided by senior clinicians, consultations can be held by phone, videoconference or meeting with the young person’s primary treating team.
The consultation service can assist with:
- Diagnosis, treatment and disease management
- Discussions regarding clinical approaches
- Professional support and guidance for treating teams, including the facilitation of case discussions and care planning
- Information regarding referral pathways
We also run a weekly MDM open to any health care professional currently caring for a young person or wishing to discuss a patient.
If you are seeking advice, support or guidance regarding any aspect of patient management/experience, call or email us to discuss how best we might assist.
In collaboration with organisational partners in health, community and tertiary education, ONTrac at Peter Mac coordinates a state-wide program committed to meeting the information, education and training needs of a diverse audience that includes multidisciplinary professionals delivering care to young people with cancer as well as patients, carers and their families.
As part of this program we offer a range of opportunities for nursing, medical and allied health professionals to support the delivery of high-quality, youth-friendly cancer care. These include state-wide forums and seminars, e-learning modules, in-services and tailored programs including clinical placements.
ONTrac at Peter Mac offers a flexible range of services (see clinical support areas above) for young people aged 15 to 25 and their families from diagnosis through to 12 months post-treatment. We welcome referrals from GPs, cancer services and other health and community services for direct clinical involvement, regardless of the young person’s primary site of care.
Referrals from Peter Mac, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Royal Women's Hospital and Royal Children's Hospital (internal): an internal referral via Epic is required; call/email us at [email protected] to discuss as needed
Referrals from all other services (external): a[email protected] to discuss as needed prior to submission
Delivering care in a youth-friendly, safe and supportive environment is a priority for our service. All ONTrac at Peter Mac team members are appropriately credentialed and experienced in working with young people and their families. Our care is primarily delivered from our ambulatory Youth Cancer Centre located within Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Parkville. Specialist inpatient and same-day beds are also available in the hospital to young people receiving medical care via Peter Mac.