NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer, Version 1.2017
Bring someone with you when meeting with
doctors. You may also want to think about
writing down or recording what you talk about
so you can review it later.
Get copies of blood tests, imaging results,
and reports about the specific type of cancer
you have. It will be helpful when getting a 2
opinion (more on that later).
Get organized since you can get a lot of paper
such as insurance forms, medical records,
and tests results. Make sure you have easy
access to contact information for everyone on
your treatment team.
Be prepared because cancer doctors are
often on very tight schedules, so you’ll want to
make the most of the time you have. Make a
list of the questions or issues you want to talk
about before you go to each doctor’s visit.
Most importantly, ask for help if you need it. You are
anything but alone in this diagnosis.
What are my options?
When you’ve been diagnosed with cancer it’s
perfectly natural to want to get the cancer out of your
body right away. That being said, it is a good idea
to start treatment within a few weeks of a diagnosis.
You can take that time right after diagnosis to get a
Be sure you are working with doctors who understand
the unique needs of AYAs with cancer. You also want
to make sure they have experience treating patients
with the same type of cancer you have.
Getting a 2
Even if you like and trust your doctor, it is usually a
good idea to get a 2
opinion. Checking a biopsy
sample requires skill and experience. It’s a possibility
another doctor will see something the first pathologist
missed. A cancer doctor (oncologist) may also bring a
different view on the type of treatment that’s best for
you. For example, a surgical oncologist may suggest
that surgery is your best option, while a medical
oncologist may suggest chemotherapy.
If nothing else, a 2
opinion can confirm that your
first doctor and pathologist got it right. Getting
opinion is common and important if:
Your doctor has little knowledge about treating
the type of cancer you have.
Your test results were unclear and you need
more tests done.
You live in a rural area.
You have a rare type of cancer.
You want to join in a clinical trial.
Dealing with the diagnosis
What are my options?
Finding your 2
The R.A. Bloch Cancer Foundation
has a list of institutions across the
country that offer 2
The Navigate Cancer Foundation atwww.navigatecancerfoundation.org
has experienced cancer nurses who
can help you find a qualified doctor for