NCCN Guidelines for Patients
: Caring for Adolescents and Young Adults
Part 7: Living your life
of your company’s policies on things like flex time,
telecommuting, qualifying for Family Medical Leave Act
benefits, and short- and long-term disability.
If you have other questions, check out Cancer and
), a one-stop-shop
for all things cancer- and work-related. Founded in 2001,
the Cancer and Careers site is dedicated to eliminating
fear and uncertainty for working people with cancer.
It contains expert advice on everything from selecting
a wig to disability law, as well as interactive tools and
educational events on how people with cancer can thrive
in the workplace.
Start preparing your workplace as soon as you know
your treatment plan and its likely side effects. Ensure that
your chair is comfortable, and that you have a place to
keep snacks, drinks, and other supplies for relieving side
effects such as dry mouth and nausea.
You may also want to prepare your coworkers. Let close
colleagues know how treatment may be affecting your
work schedule, and keep them updated on your needs
and limitations as treatment progresses.
Dealing with finances
Sadly, financial problems are all-too-common among
AYAs with cancer. If you’re facing financial stresses such
as unemployment or inadequate health insurance, talk
with your team’s social worker, patient navigators, and
hospital financial services about options for getting better
control of your finances.
An excellent source of support and information is
the not-for-profit Patient Advocate Foundation (www.
patientadvocate.org, 800.532.5274), which provides
professional case managers who serve as advocates for
patients dealing with insurance companies, employers,
For information on pharmaceutical companies’ patient
assistance programs—which provide free or discounted
medications to patients in financial need—try the
searchable online databases at Rx Assist (
org/patients) or Needy Meds
indices/pap.htm). Other sources for help with medication
The Patient Access Network Foundation (www.
panfoundation.org; 866.316.7263, 9:00
, ET), which provides help to underinsured
patients for out-of-pocket expenses for life-saving
medications. Patients must complete an application
and meet certain insurance and income criteria to
qualify for aid.
The Patient Advocate Foundation’s Co-Pay Relief
/), which provides direct
financial support for pharmaceutical co-payments
to insured patients who financially and medically