More cases of cancer diagnosed in young Australians

According to the report Cancer in adolescents and young adults in Australia, released on 18th April 2018 by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), “more young Australian are being diagnosed with cancer, but survival prospects have improved markedly in this younger age group.”

Key findings 
  • In the period 2010-2014, more than 4,800 new cases of cancer were diagnosed in young Australians (aged 15-24) – an average of 2-3 diagnoses every day.
  • Males contributed more than half (53%) of all cancers diagnosed in young Australians.
  • Melanoma was the most commonly diagnosed cancer in young Australian accounting for 15% of all cancers diagnosed.
  • In 2011-2015, brain cancer was the leading cause of cancer mortality in young Australians, accounting for 18% of all cancer deaths.
  • In 2011-2015, 499 young Australians died from cancer. This means that, on average, an adolescent and young adult died from cancer every 3-4 days in Australia.
  • In 2010-2014, young Australians diagnosed with cancer had, on average, an 89% chance of surviving for 5 years. Relative survival from all cancers combined for young Australians rose from 80% in 1985-1989 to 89% in 2010-2014, though changes in the 5-year relative survival varied between cancer types.
  • The risk of developing a second cancer was 1.9 times as high in those initially diagnosed with cancer as a young person compared with the risks normally experienced by the general population.

The report identified that examining cancer in adolescents and young adults was important because there is growing evidence that cancers in young people have a unique biology (Bleyer 2009; Tricoli et al. 2011) as well as recognition that young people with cancer have distinct medical, psychosocial, and information needs (Palmer & Thomas 2008). 

The full AIHW report can be viewed and downloaded by clicking on the link below.

How insurance providers help

Most insurance providers offer some form of trauma or critical illness product, many of which provide a benefit in the event of cancer. 

Income protection policies can also assist where you are unable to work at full capacity or at all, for a period of time whilst recovering from treatment, providing an important source of continuing income. 

To find out more and get started on understanding your existing covers, contact us for a complimentary risk cover review.

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