What Should You Ask Your Doctor About Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia?

As you cope with cancer and cancer treatment, you need to have honest, open discussions with your doctor. You should feel comfortable asking any question, 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 is the stage (risk group) of the leukemia, and what does that mean for me?
  • Will I need to have other tests before we can decide on treatment?
  • How much experience do you have treating this type of cancer?
  • Should I get a second opinion?
  • Should I be treated at this time? Why or why not?
  • What are my treatment choices?
  • What do you recommend, and why?
  • What are the risks and side effects with 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 the outlook for my survival?
  • What will we do if the treatment doesn't work or if the leukemia recurs?
  • What type of follow-up will I need after treatment?

Be sure to write down any questions that occur to you that are not on this list. For instance, you might want information about recovery times so that you can plan your work schedule. Or you may want to ask about clinical trials for which you may qualify.

Taking another person and/or a tape recorder to your doctor visit can be helpful. Collecting copies of your medical records, pathology reports, and radiology reports may be useful in case you wish to seek a second opinion at a later time.

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: January 6, 2015 Last Revised: April 11, 2016

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