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Be Your Own Advocate Online Guidebook

Be Your Own Advocate Interactive Patient Guide



Be Your Own Advocate logo


The Be Your Own Advocate (BYOA) Interactive Patient Guide is a free resource for patients and their families to help them navigate their cancer diagnosis and treatment.


See below to view and download editable electronic versions of the guide. You can save these sections to your computer and add your own notes to the editable pages.  


Before you use the guide, complete our very short information form (takes < 1 minute) so that we can track how people find the guide.  


Section 1: Your Healthcare Team and Treatment 


Download Section 1


Section 2: Your Support System


Download Section 2


Section 3: Organizing & Planning Calendars


Download Section 3


Section 4: Insurance/Healthcare Benefits


Download Section 4


Section 5: Resources


Download Section 5



Contact LLS

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at (312) 651-7353 or



How to Use the Be Your Own Advocate (BYOA) Interactive Patient Guide


The BYOA Interactive Patient Guide is a pdf (Portable Document Format) document containing information forms that you may complete, save to your computer and print. The forms are dynamic: you may update and re-save the information at any time. Refer to this user guide as you navigate the document. You will also find helpful instructions in Section 3 that are specific to that section's calendar pages.


Getting Started


The BYOA Patient Guide may be opened in, and saved from, version 8 or later of Adobe Acrobat Reader. You may obtain a free copy of the latest Adobe Reader at this link:


You will also find useful information about using Adobe Reader at that link.


Creating your own personal BYOA Patient Guide


When you first open the sections of the Guide after downloading from the links above, choose "File>Save As" and rename the file with a unique name so that you may easily identify it; for example: BYOA Section 1_yourname.pdf.


Interactive information forms like the Medical Contacts on page 1.2 contain fields you can complete. The form fields will display as orange boxes on your screen. Simply place your cursor inside the form field, click with your mouse or touchpad and begin typing when the flashing cursor appears. Fields like the Medication Tracker dosage (page 1.5) will scroll the text automatically if it runs longer than the entry area, so you can type as much information as you need to.


If you would like to zoom in on your work, use Adobe Reader's zoom tool to enlarge the text that you are working with. Navigate around the page using the scroll bars or the arrow keys on your keyboard.


When you have completed a session with your personal guide, choose "save" from your file menu or click the "save" button on the menu bar.


To print forms


1. Click the Print button, or choose "File>Print"

2. Choose a printer from the menu

3. In the "Comments and Forms" menu in the upper-right area of the print dialog box, choose one of the following and then click OK:

  • To print the form and the typed entries only, choose Document.
  • To print the form, the typed entries and any comments on the form, choose Document and Markups.
  • To print only the typed entries and not the form itself, choose Form Fields Only.


All hyperlinks are in blue text. Clicking a link will take you to another page in the Guide, to an email link or to a webpage.  


last updated on Friday, January 24, 2014