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NCCN Guidelines for Patients


Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer, Version 1.2017

What you can expect during


Part 4 focuses on the treatment process

and the different stages of care you will

go through. Learn all you can about your

treatment options. It’s important to stick

with the treatment plan that you and your

doctor decide to do.

Getting treated for cancer can be a strange journey.

You know where you want to end up—healthy—but

it’s not always clear how you’re going to get there or

how long it will take. Depending on your diagnosis,

the process can take a long time. It can be weeks,

months, or even years for treatment that is followed

by many more years of follow-up care. And all along

the way you are a cancer survivor.

What are the stages of


Cancer treatment is rarely a one-shot deal. Most

patients go through several rounds of treatment to

make sure the cancer is either gone or under control.

Although the specific therapies used during each

stage will depend on your diagnosis, your treatment

plan is likely to take you through several stages.

Neoadjuvant or induction therapy

Neoadjuvant or induction therapy is usually given to

reduce the size of the cancer before cancer surgery.

It can be helpful for a large primary tumor. Shrinking

the tumor may make the surgery less complicated.

Induction therapy may also be used to prepare the

body for a stem cell transplant (or bone marrow

transplant) in patients with leukemia or lymphoma.

The transplant gives blood or bone marrow stem

cells intravenously to restore cells that have been

destroyed by cancer or its treatment.

Neoadjuvant therapy may include radiation

therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of several

treatments. If the chosen treatment carries a risk of

side effects such as nausea or being very tired and


Navigating the treatment


32 What are the stages of treatment?

34 Who is on my treatment team?

36 What does a treatment plan involve?

37 How can I learn more about treatment options?

38 How do I stay on track with my treatment plan?

38 Review