Australia launches digital cancer center for children and families

The Australian Government has launched a digital cancer center to support young cancer patients and their families.

The Cancer Hub was developed in partnership with three of Australia’s leading childhood cancer support groups, namely Canteen, Camp Quality and Redkite.

According to a media release, the digital hub will offer online counseling services for children under the age of 12 with cancer and their parents. It builds on Canteen Connect, a mobile app-based online community for people aged 12-25 who are battling their own or a family member’s cancer.

The federal government has given Canteen AUD$3.3 million (US$2.2 million) to deploy the Cancer Hub through the end of 2023. This includes A$1.8 million (US$1.2 million) for the continuation of the Canteen Connect service and A$1.5 million (US$1 million) for Canteen. to offer a cancer navigation service.

Through the centre, the government aims to support more than 70,000 Australians with their cancer and 20,000 more with mental health support. It will also provide financial support and housing.

Digital access to dedicated navigators and advisors will ensure young cancer patients and their families receive the right support “as close as possible to where they live – and in the shortest possible time,” the government said in a statement. The Cancer Hub will also have on-site staff in each major capital city and in some regional centers.

WHY IT MATTERS

Data from the Australian Childhood Cancer Registry has shown that on average around 750 Australian children under the age of 14 are diagnosed with cancer each year. The most common types of cancer in these children are leukemia and tumors of the central nervous system, mainly the brain.

It is also estimated that more than 100 children die from cancer in Australia each year, with brain tumors being the leading cause.

Australia has the fifth-highest cases of childhood cancer among the G20 countries, but it has the lowest mortality rate among them, according to data from Globocan.

THE GREATER CONTEXT

The Australian Government has a longstanding relationship with Canteen, which received its first government funding in 2008.

“The Albanian government will continue to invest significantly in childhood and adolescent cancer across the continuum of cancer care,” said newly appointed Health and Elderly Care Minister Mark Butler.

In March this year, Canteen opened a physical cancer center in New South Wales along with seven other charities. That Hunter Cancer Hub also supports families and individuals affected by cancer with access to information and services.

In another recent cancer-focused funding, the federal government has provided an additional A$2 million (US$1.3 million). Ovarian Cancer Australia is supporting the non-profit organization to provide psychosocial telemedicine support services to ovarian cancer patients by 2024.

About Ellen Lewandowski

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