More 15 - 29 year olds are diagnosed with cancer than children each year, yet their specific needs can often be overlooked.

Too old for kids hospitals, and too young to be alongside the elderly and dying during their treatment. They are six times more likely to suffer from mental health problems following treatment and can be left managing the impact of their diagnosis on all aspects of their life for years to come.

Sony Foundation launched the national youth cancer initiative, ‘You Can’ in 2010 to close the gap that currently exists for 15 - 25 year olds with cancer. In partnership with the Federal Government and cancer charity Canteen, we launched this national youth cancer initiative to establish a network of age-appropriate specialised youth cancer centres and services around Australia.

You Can will continue to change the course of cancer care nationally for adolescent and young adults (AYA’s) diagnosed with cancer. We are determined to give these young people a voice, listen to their needs by working with governmental, medical, and corporate Australia to deliver tangible solutions.

AYA patients diagnosed with cancer each year in Australia

Need identified is age-appropriate spaces and activities in the hospital to reduce emotional stress

More likely to experience mental health issues

Total lifetime costs for a young person diganosed with cancer




If you are a clinician and would like to know more about patient eligibility and how to make an online referral, or if you would like to support with a donation, please click below.



Click below to find out about services currently available for 13 - 30 year old cancer patients.


Fast Facts

Youth Cancer Statistics:

  • Approx. 1200 adolescents and young adults (AYA’s) (15-24 years) are reportedly diagnosed with cancer each year
  • More AYA’s (0.8%) are diagnosed with cancer compared with children (0.5%) and 2.1% for the older age group (25-34 years).
  • Approx. 10% of AYAs die from cancer every year.
  • Cancer is the most common cause of non-accidental death among young people (15-24 years)
  • AYA deaths from cancer account for 0.24% of all reported cancer deaths. This compares with 0.21% for children aged 0-14 years and 0.57% for the 25-34 year age group.
  • Approx. 10% of AYAs die from cancer every year.
  • Currently there are no Adolescent Hospices in Australia.
  • About 1/3 of young people affected by cancer live in regional/rural areas. Currently there are very limited options for free or subsidised accommodation for youth cancer patients and their families who must travel.

    "You Can was a speck of light in a very difficult time."

    Jess, cancer survivor, You Can Centre Melbourne

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