NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer, Version 1.2017
What does a treatment plan
A treatment plan is a written course of action that
covers every stage of the treatment process, from
the first treatment onward. It serves as a guide for
everyone taking part in your care. It reminds everyone
of decisions that have already been made and plans
for the future.
If you’re in a relationship or still in your teens, your
partner, parents, or caregivers will probably want to
be involved in treatment planning. This can be a huge
help, particularly when you may be overwhelmed and
still in shock from the diagnosis. It’s important to keep
in mind that you have a say in your treatment plan.
Your loved ones can help you find information, take
notes, ask questions, and talk through your options,
but only you can decide if a treatment plan is right for
The specifics of your treatment plan will be based on
many things like the kind of cancer you have and also
your own personal needs and limits. As a young adult
with cancer, you may have treatment options that
children and older adults do not have.
Depending on your diagnosis, you may do
better with a pediatric treatment plan than one
designed for adults.
You can probably tolerate more intense
treatment options than older adults.
As a young, relatively healthy person (other
than cancer) you’re an excellent candidate for
a clinical trial.
Ask your treatment team to consider these factors
as they weigh your treatment options—including
suggestions 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
science based evidence on cancer and its treatment.
The guidelines are important tools for 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 website,www.NCCN.org .
Navigating the treatment process
What does a treatment plan involve?
Accept help. Ask for help. Ask for
resources. There are many people who
want to support you, and it feels great.”
Colon Cancer Survivor
Age at Diagnosis: 33