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Staying on Top of Your Treatment Plan

16133665Before you receive your treatment plan, you may want to discuss with your health care professionals what you can do to manage side effects. In addition, you can ask them if there are specific side effects to discuss with them either immediately or at a later time point.

While receiving your medications, you may want to keep worksheets in a binder that include the following:

  • A list of typical treatment-associated side effects (e.g., vomiting, fatigue)
  • A way to rate the intensity of each side effect from none, mild, moderate, to severe
  • Any directions that you were given to manage the side effect, which may include taking a medication or notifying a health care professional

For example, if you are receiving chemoradiation therapy, you may want to create a worksheet as follows:

Symptom Symptom Severity Steps You Took To Manage the Symptom
Vomiting None
Mild
Moderate
Severe
Fatigue None
Mild
Moderate
Severe
Mucositis None
Mild
Moderate
Severe

Making those follow-up visits is very important. When your doctor tells you that you need a test, you go and get the test done.Debra R. (mucoepidermoid carcinoma of the palate survivor)

References

1 Referenced with permission from The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) for Head and Neck Cancers V.2.2014. © National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Inc 2014. All rights reserved. Accessed June 18, 2014. To view the most recent and complete version of the guideline, go online to www.NCCN.org. NATIONAL COMPREHENSIVE CANCER NETWORK®, NCCN®, NCCN GUIDELINES®, and all other NCCN Content are trademarks owned by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Inc.

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