•   1.5hrs
  •   Public
  •   Version: 1.0
  •   Review due: January 2021

This eLearning program has been developed to advance primary care nursing knowledge and skills in the delivery of quality cancer care for young people.


  • Each year in Australia approximately 1200 young people aged 15-25 years are diagnosed with cancer (1)
  • There is growing recognition that during this life stage young people with cancer have biopsychosocial support needs that are different from those of other age groups(2)
  • Understanding the factors that constitute normal development for this population group will support optimal care to better manage the impact of cancer and its treatment(3)

Young people with cancer face emotional, physical and financial challenges as well as associated stressors and reduced qualify of life. They potentially experience disruption to social connections, challenges with intimate relationships and developmental transitions, threats to their physical and mental health, and place their fertility at risk. 

Understanding the breadth and intensity of biopsychosocial development during this life stage and the impact of cancer on a young person’s growth and development will enable primary care nurses to target support, information and education to each young person.  

1.    Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Cancer in adolescents and young adults in Australia. Canberra: AIHW, 2018.
2.    Walker E, Martins A, Aldiss S, Gibson F, Taylor RM. Psychosocial interventions for adolescents and young adults diagnosed with cancer during adolescence: a critical review. Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology. 2016;5(4):310-21.
3.    NG M, Forsyth V, Trahair T, Carrington N, Anazodo A. Adolescents, young adults and cancer: What GPs need to know. Medicine Today. 2017;18(8):14-24.


This program has been developed by the ONTrac at Peter Mac Victorian Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Service, drawing on expertise from across the cancer sector and underpinned by the collective experiences of young people and their families.

Additional Information

These modules include videos so please ensure your computer has speakers or headphone input. 
It is recommended that learners complete modules sequentially, however, this is not mandatory and you can choose modules that suit your learning needs.

At the end of each module there is a short survey that we encourage you to complete. This will ensure we can evaluate the current program and also identify additional opportunities for further education. 

Thank you to our project team and the nurses who contributed to the development and evaluation of the content and format of this resource. We would like to extend a special thank you to the Victorian & Tasmanian Youth Cancer Action Board who through their own personal experience of cancer provided their lived knowledge to this education program. 

Thank you to Abi Richardson, film maker, for video development. 

This project has been funded by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services. 

Teen boy smiling and holding a skateboard

What you will achieve

  • Recognise the impact cancer has on  adolescent and young adult development
  • Describe quality developmentally appropriate youth focused care in the primary care setting
  • Examine primary care nursing practice that can support young people through cancer treatment and beyond

Who is this course for?

For primary care nurses to enhance their knowledge and practice skills in youth focused developmentally appropriate care and meet the distinct biological, psychosocial and information needs of young people with cancer.


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