NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer, Version 1.2017
Living your life
Will my daily life change?
There’s plenty of information out there on how to talk
to children about cancer and help them cope with
a parent’s illness. The website Telling Kids About
a wealth of age-appropriate tips and resources for
parents. Some helpful tips for talking with children:
Use age-appropriate language.
Be honest and accurate in describing your
illness. Call cancer by its name.
Tell your child that the cancer is not
contagious and that he or she did not cause
Explain what kind of treatment you will be
receiving and the side effects you may have.
Reassure your child that he or she will be
taken care of no matter what happens, and
that you and other family members are there
to listen and to answer any questions.
If you need more guidance on talking to your children
about cancer, seek help from a social worker. They
can also refer you to local support services. You can
also reach out to Cancer Care, an organization where
oncology social workers provide free counseling and
referrals for assistance. You can visit the website atwww.cancercare.org
or call 800.813.HOPE (4673) for
Will my daily life change?
If you’re living on your own or caring for a family,
managing your home life and treatment can be
a struggle. Staying on top of things like laundry,
cleaning the bathroom, or grocery shopping gets hard
when you have side effects. This is an excellent time
to accept any offers from others that want to help you.
If friends and family members want to rally to your
aid, suggest that they check out the My Lifeline
or Lotsa Helping Hands atwww.lotsahelpinghands.com .
These free services are
designed to help friends and family organize support
efforts. They include features such as a help calendar
to schedule and sign up for specific support activities
for things like shopping or appointments, as well as a
message board for sharing information.
Being in school
The combination of cancer and the social part of
school can be challenging. In addition to constantly
being exposed to the germs in classrooms, locker
rooms, and shared bathrooms, side effects like
fatigue and chemobrain can make it harder to keep
up with your school work.
No matter how much you may want to keep your
condition quiet, it’s good to let your teachers/
professors and school counselor know what is going
on. Have a talk with each teacher soon after your
diagnosis and at the beginning of each semester.
Let them know about the side effects you’re likely to
experience and how they may affect your ability to
attend class or meet deadlines. Discuss how—and
when—you should request more time to do your
work, if needed.
Working during treatment
Since cancer treatment can last for months to years,
you might be working while you are being treated.
You may want make time to talk with your boss
before treatment begins. Get a clear understanding
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
Careers atwww.cancerandcareers.org ,
shop for all things cancer- and work-related. This
site aims to stop the fear and uncertainty for working
people with cancer. It has expert advice on everything
from selecting a wig to disability law. The site has