Deloitte and CanTeen count the real cost of cancer in young people

Each year in Australia, more than 1,000 Adolescents and Young Adults (AYAs) receive a cancer diagnosis.

In 2016, Deloitte Access Economics worked on a low bono project for CanTeen to calculate the cost to the economy of cancer in young Australians.

For those diagnosed each year, it was estimated to be $1.4 billionor $1.3 million per person over a lifetime. In December 2018, Deloitte’s findings were presented to the Third Global Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Congress in Sydney.

CanTeen Board Deputy Chair & Young person living with Cancer Joey Lynch said young people with cancer aged between 15 and 25 have their own specific needs and issues. “I’ve been forced to drop out of education, I’ve missed several years of work,” he said. “Nobody expects to have cancer, nobody asks to have cancer”.

It’s been a heartening lesson for me that there is such an awareness of this issue now around the world. And I am so thankful for that,” Joey said.

CanTeen’s CEO, Peter Orchard, said Deloitte’s research had been “incredibly important” in helping to convince governments to fund clinical trials and to provide better services for young people affected by cancer.

Presenting the research at the Congress, Deloitte Partner Lynne Pezzullo said it “shows policy makers the magnitude of the problem for young people and their families.”

The Deloitte report said: “Cancer in adolescents and young adults (AYAs) places a significant burden on the person with cancer, their carers and the economy. Along with the pain and suffering of living with cancer, AYAs with cancer incur expenses to treat their cancer, forfeit income when they are unable to work, have diminished employment opportunities over the rest of their life, often rely on welfare payments, and in the worst cases will die prematurely as a result of cancer. Their primary carers, often their parents, will also experience a significant caring burden.”

CanTeen’s Peter Orchard said the Deloitte research had attracted significant interest internationally. “What’s really interesting is other countries are talking to us about the (Deloitte) report and saying, ‘Wow, we need that right here in our country,’ so, huge benefit to us.”


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