NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer, Version 1.2017
Coping with side effects
How do I prevent or take care of my side effects?
Steer clear of caffeine and alcohol at the
end of the day
, both of which can make it
more difficult to fall—and stay—asleep.
Make use of your team
Your treatment team has a wealth of experience and
information. This is particularly true if you are being
treated at a center that has an AYA cancer program.
The program should have lots of resources to help
you deal with the physical, emotional, and day-to-day
challenges of cancer treatment.
Many cancer centers also have complementary or
ntegrative medicine programs that offer acupuncture,
hypnotherapy, reflexology, yoga, and other types of
complementary therapy that can prevent or help you
cope with side effects.
Your team will want to watch for the side effects you
have, how severe they are, and how they affect your
overall health and well-being. You may be asked to
keep a diary tracking your side effects and things like
your temperature or blood pressure. Be honest about
what you’re feeling—this isn’t the time to put on a
brave face or keep quiet about what is going on. If the
side effects are too much or if they put you at risk for
long-term problems, the team may consider changing
your treatment plan or parts of it.
When dealing with treatment side effects, don’t be
afraid to reach out to the unofficial members of your
team—family and friends who want to lend a hand.
If someone wants to pick up your groceries (or your
homework, or your kids) when you’re tired and its
hard to do much of anything, let them. If someone
wants to make you a batch of homemade chicken
soup or ginger cookies, let them. If someone wants to
give you a lift to yoga class, let them. After all, you'd
do the same if they needed help.
When I was diagnosed I thought
the hardest part of cancer would
be the actual having cancer part.
Chemo and all its lovely side effects:
the needles and constant invasion
of my body, and losing my hair.
What I didn’t realize is that the
fight against cancer doesn’t end
when your scans are clear, your
port is removed, your hair grows
back, and your scars heal. The fight
against cancer rages on within.
The emotional and mental wounds
needed to heal as well. You just
have to find your new normal and
not punish yourself if it is different
Hodgkin Lymphoma Survivor
Age at diagnosis: 20