To establish the psychosocial service requirements for the new Hunter & Northern NSW Youth Cancer Service (15-25yrs) and to compare the frequency of cancer types with NSW data.
Data were obtained for the state from The Cancer Institute of NSW (2007) and from the Hunter New England & North Coast Clinical Cancer Registries (2008-2010). Descriptive and chi-square statistics were used to examine frequencies of cancer type and any use of psychosocial services.
From 2003–2007 in Australia, for the 15–29 age group, there were 8,783 new cases of cancer (age-standardised rate of 419 cases per million), the most common melanoma1. In NSW for the 15 – 25 age group, the five most common were cancers were: Melanoma, Lymphomas, Testicular, Leukaemia and Thyroid. In the Northern zone of the new service, for the 15-25 age group, there were 29 new cases, the top five: Testicular (20.7%), Lymphoma (20.7%), Colon (17.2%), Thyroid (10.3%) and Leukaemia/Breast (6.8%). In the Hunter zone there were 91 new cases, the top five: Lymphoma (21.9%), Leukaemia (16.5%), Testicular (10.9%), Melanoma (7.7%) and Bone (6.6%). There was some access of psychosocial services in the Northern zone (20.8%) and greater access in the Hunter zone (54.9%). Males (26.5%) accessed psychosocial services more frequently than females (19.5%).
The development of new psychosocial services for adolescents and young adults should be informed by the frequency of cancers in their own populations. The Hunter and Northern NSW areas are similar to the state patterns, although the frequency of Colon cancer in the Northern zone and the reduced presentation of Melanoma in the Hunter zone is different to the state patterns. There is some access to psychosocial services, although the access is less for rural and female patients.