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Questions to Ask About Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)

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It's important to have open and honest communications with your cancer care team about your acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Ask about anything you don’t understand or want to know more about. For instance, consider these questions:

When you're told you have AML

  • Can you explain to me what AML is? How is it different from other types of leukemia?
  • What type of AML do I have?
  • Are there any factors that might affect my prognosis?
  • Do I need any other tests before we can decide on treatment?
  • Will I need to see any other types of doctors?

When deciding on a treatment plan

  • Do you and this medical center have a lot of experience treating AML?
  • What are my treatment choices?
  • Should we consider a stem cell transplant? When?
  • Which treatment do you recommend, and why?
  • Should I get a second opinion? Can you suggest a doctor or cancer center?
  • What should I do to be ready for treatment?
  • How long will treatment last? What will it be like? Where will it be done?
  • What are the risks and side effects of treatment? How long are they likely to last?
  • How will treatment affect my daily activities?
  • What is my prognosis (outlook)?

During and after treatment

Once treatment begins, you’ll need to know what to expect and what to look for. Not all of these questions may apply to you, but getting answers to the ones that do may be helpful.

  • How will we know if the treatment is working?
  • What type of follow-up will I need after treatment?
  • Is there anything I can do to help manage side effects?
  • What symptoms or side effects should I tell you about right away?
  • How can I reach you on nights, holidays, or weekends?
  • Do I need to eat a special diet during treatment?
  • Are there any limits on what I can do? 
  • Should I exercise? What should I do, and how often?
  • Can you suggest a mental health professional I can see if I start to feel overwhelmed, depressed, or distressed?
  • What would my options be if the treatment isn’t working?
  • Where can I find more information and support?

Be sure to write down any questions you have that are not on this list. For instance, you might want specific information about expected recovery times or returning to work. Or you might want to ask if you qualify for any clinical trials.

Keep in mind that doctors aren’t the only ones who can give you information. Other health care professionals, such as nurses and social workers, might be able to answer some of your questions. You can find out more about speaking with your health care team in Talking With Your Doctor.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as editors and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Last Revised: August 21, 2018

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