What Should You Ask Your Doctor About Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia?

It is important to have frank, honest discussions with your doctor. You should feel free to ask any question that’s on your mind, no matter how small it might seem. Here are some questions you might want to ask. Nurses, social workers, and other members of the treatment team may also be able to answer many of your questions.

  • What kind of acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) do I have?
  • Do I have any specific factors that might affect my prognosis?
  • Do I need to have other tests before we can decide on treatment?
  • Are there other doctors I need to see?
  • How much experience do you have treating this type of leukemia?
  • Should I get a second opinion before starting treatment? Can you suggest someone?
  • How soon do we need to start treatment?
  • What are my treatment choices?
  • Which treatment do you recommend, and why?
  • Should we consider a stem cell transplant? When?
  • What are the risks and side effects to the treatments that you recommend?
  • What should I do to be ready for treatment?
  • How long will treatment last? What will it be like? Where will it be done?
  • How will treatment affect my daily activities?
  • What is my prognosis?
  • What will we do if the treatment doesn’t work or if the leukemia comes back?
  • What type of follow-up will I need after treatment?

Be sure to write down any questions you have that are not on this list. For instance, you might want specific information about recovery times so that you can plan your work or activity schedule. Or you might want to ask about clinical trials for which you may qualify. Taking another person and/or a tape recorder to the appointment can be helpful.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and master's-prepared nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Last Medical Review: December 2, 2014 Last Revised: February 18, 2016

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