How can chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients insist on better care? Dr. Lindsey Roeker shares key advice for discussing testing and provides important questions to ask your doctor for the best care for you.
Dr. Lyndsey Roeker is a hematologic oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Learn more about Dr. Roeker here.
Patients should insist on essential CLL testing. It’s important to point out that some patients may not know if they’ve received these important tests, so how can they take action?
So, the next time you’re at your doctor, ask, “I just want to know more about the prognosis of my CLL, and can we talk through the genetic markers of my disease, to help me understand what to expect?” That’s kind of code for, “Let’s go through all of these test results,” and it also – if you have a provider who doesn’t routinely test them at diagnosis, and for instance, just tests before treatment, they can also kind of give you their sense of when they do the testing, so you know what to expect. And I think that’s an important discussion to have with your provider, for sure.
Are there key questions that patients should ask their physicians?
I’m always impressed with the questions that people come up with. I think one of the best is, what should I expect, based on what we’re doing now? It’s always a hard question to answer because, obviously, for any patient, it’s so individualized, but I think understanding what to expect, as a general sense, is a good way to approach both treatment and prognosis, and all of those kinds of things.