Canteen and Cancer Australia have unveiled the Cancer? app to help adolescent and young adult cancer patients navigate their cancer journey.
Dr Pandora Patterson, Canteen’s General Manager of Research and Youth Cancer Services, says that empowering young patients with a clearer understanding of their treatment, side effects, psychological and social impacts, along with support options is critical.
“We know from our research that dealing with cancer can often mean information overload for young patients,” says Dr Patterson.
“There are millions of questions to ask and so many answers to remember. This is where the Cancer? app can be the bridge, giving young people time to let critical information in and empowering them to make well-informed decisions.”
- use question lists developed by other young cancer patients in the ‘prepare for appointment’ section – and add your own;
- record your next appointment;
- listen back in your own time
- use the ‘my team’ section to keep track of who’s who in your treatment team; and
- get information about support options.
Jess Selwood, a Canteen youth ambassador, says that as well as the technical help the app provides, it also gives a patient space during highly stressful and emotional appointments.
“Especially at this young adult age, you do lose a lot of independence, so it makes you feel more in control of something that is completely uncontrollable,” says Ms Selwood.
“They are precious appointments, those one-on-ones, and you want to get as much information as you can.”
Professor Dorothy Keefe, CEO at Cancer Australia, says that the questions found on the app were developed by other young cancer patients and cover a wide range of topics.
“These questions were written by young people for young people and include guidance on diagnosis and treatment through to COVID-19, fertility and relationships,” says Professor Keefe.
The Cancer? app project is a Cancer Australia Supporting people with cancer Grant initiative, funded by the Australian Government. Canteen would also like to thank Rare Cancers Australia for their collaboration on the project.