NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Caring for Adolescents and Young Adults - page 45

NCCN Guidelines for Patients
: Caring for Adolescents and Young Adults
Version 2013
Part 4: Navigating the treatment process
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As a young adult with cancer, you may have treatment options that children
and older adults do not. For example:
Depending on your diagnosis, you may do better with a pediatric treatment
protocol than one designed for adults.
Since you’re most likely in better shape than many older patients, you
can probably tolerate more aggressive treatment approaches, including
high-dose systemic therapies.
As a young, relatively healthy person (other than the cancer, of course!),
you’re also an excellent candidate for enrollment in a clinical trial.
Ask your treatment team to consider these factors as they evaluate your
treatment options—including recommendations from clinical guidelines related
to the type of cancer you have.
Cancer treatment is always evolving, and it’s not always easy for doctors to
keep up. That’s why organizations such as the American Cancer Society, the
National Cancer Institute, and NCCN offer clinical guidelines for the treatment
of specific cancers. These guidelines are based on the best available scientific
evidence on cancer and its treatment, and are important tools in coming up with
the right treatment plan for your diagnosis. You can access NCCN Guidelines
on specific cancers—and on other aspects of care of AYAs with cancer—on the
NCCN Web sites,
The pros and cons of doing your own research
When it comes to treatment planning, the more you understand about the
cancer you have and its treatment, the easier it will be to work with your
treatment team. On the other hand, it’s also possible to get overwhelmed by
a tidal wave of statistics, scientific jargon, and drug names. Striking a balance
between blissful ignorance and TMI is one of the major challenges of being a
cancer patient.
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