Posted: 17 Jan. 2019 05 min. read

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

Economy of cancer in young Australians

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 billion – or $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.”


More about the authors

Gerry Wilde

Gerry Wilde

Director, Responsible Business

Gerry has been leading Deloitte Australia’s Responsible Business team and The Deloitte Foundation since 2015 and is shaping the firm's strategy to be a leading corporate citizen and to make a 'profit with purpose'. Gerry navigated towards this role after 8 years of strategy and operations consulting at Deloitte. Through The Deloitte Foundation and the Responsible Business team, Gerry manages Deloitte Australia's pro bono, skilled volunteering, workplace giving and environmental programs.

Robert Collie

Robert Collie

Partner, Audit & Assurance

Appointed Chair of The Deloitte Foundation in 2019, Rob is passionate about our purpose agenda and has worked extensively with not for profit and for purpose entities throughout his career.