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A teen's guide to everything cancer

News
Article

A workbook for teenagers to educate and empower them during illness

Group of cheerful teenagers: © Drobot Dean-stock.adobe.com

Group of cheerful teenagers: © Drobot Dean-stock.adobe.com

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is dedicated to supporting the needs of patients diagnosed with blood cancer and their families, whether that diagnosis happens in childhood, adolescence, or adulthood. The diagnosis is the beginning of a cancer experience that can include long or short-term treatment regimens, hospital stays, side effects, transitions in care, developmental changes, and survivorship.

Adolescent and young adult (AYA) survivors and their caregivers and family members often require resources and services that may not be available when treated in a solely pediatric or solely adult focused facility. This leaves a gap in meeting the needs of this specific group of individuals diagnosed with blood cancer. The good news is these individuals are living longer as blood cancer survivors; but, often with the challenges of long-term physical, emotional, and social treatment effects.

With a focus on survivorship, LLS has developed resources that can support the survivorship care planning and management of blood cancer from diagnosis throughout the lifespan of adolescents and young adults. These resources consider needs specific to this group including relationships, dating, sex, fertility, friendships, managing late effects, future screening needs, and more.

The LLS Survivorship Workbook for Children and Teens and the Survivorship Workbook for Young Adults provides guidance for tracking diagnosis, treatment, providers, and screening plus resources for maintaining emotional wellness and physical health for the best quality of life following diagnosis. In the workbooks, survivors will find survivorship care plan worksheets, long-term and late effects information, healthy behavior recommendations, mental health exercises and information, and resources for planning for the future. The workbooks are available in English and Spanish as well as pdf fillable digital versions.

The Teen’s Guide to Everything Cancer is a newly published magazine format resource for adolescents who have been diagnosed with blood cancer. Topics include navigating healthcare, managing side effects, caring for hair, skin, and nails, school, mental health and body image, nutrition and movement, survivor stories, and survivorship. The guide is available in print or digital flipbook and a Spanish version will be available soon.

LLS Information Specialists are available to help patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals access needed information and resources including these publications and more!

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