Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is typically a slow-growing cancer that may not require treatment. While some people may refer to this as a "good" type of cancer, it doesn't really make receiving a cancer diagnosis any easier. While you may initially be shocked and anxious about your diagnosis, you'll eventually find your own way of coping with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Until then, try to:
April 26, 2013
- Find out enough about your cancer to make decisions about your care. Write down questions to ask your doctor before each appointment and look for information in your local library and on the Internet. Good sources include the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
- Turn to family and friends for support. Stay connected to family and friends for support. It can be tough to talk about your diagnosis, and you'll likely get a range of reactions when you share the news. But talking about your diagnosis and passing along information about your cancer can help. So can the offers of help that often result.
- Connect with other cancer survivors. Consider joining a support group, either in your community or on the Internet. A support group of people with the same diagnosis can be a source of useful information, practical tips and encouragement.
- Explore ways to cope with the nagging, chronic nature of the disease. If you have chronic lymphocytic leukemia, you'll likely face ongoing tests and ongoing worries about your white blood cell count. Try to find some activities that help you relax, whether it's yoga, exercise or gardening. Talk to a counselor, therapist or social worker if you need help dealing with the emotional challenge of this chronic disease.
- Lichtman MA, et al. Williams Hematology. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2010. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=69. Accessed March 7, 2013.
- Abeloff MD, et al. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-4/0/1709/0.html. Accessed March 7, 2013.
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. http://www.lls.org/#/resourcecenter/freeeducationmaterials/leukemia/cll. Accessed March 7, 2013.
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia treatment (PDQ). National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/CLL/patient. Accessed March 7, 2013.
- When cancer doesn't go away. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/treatment/survivorshipduringandaftertreatment/when-cancer-doesnt-go-away. Accessed March 7, 2013.
- Cancer-related fatigue. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed March 7, 2013.
- Shanafelt TD, et al. Phase 2 trial of daily, oral polyphenon E in patients with asymptomatic, Rai stage 0 to II chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Cancer. 2013;119:363.
- Green tea. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed March 7, 2013.
- Shanafelt TD, et al. Hematologist/oncologist disease-specific expertise and survival: Lessons from chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)/small lymphocytic leukemia (SLL). Cancer. 2012;118:1827.
- Shanafelt TD (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 2, 2013.
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