Tag Archive for: AML diagnosis

Acute Myeloid Leukemia, Recommended Coping Methods and Mental Health

Acute Myeloid Leukemia, Recommended Coping Methods and Mental Health from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

How can acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients and care partners find coping methods? Watch as expert Dr. Catherine Lai shares advice and resources to help with mental health and ways to cope with AML over the long term.

See More from Best AML Care No Matter Where You Live

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What Role Does Telemedicine Play in Acute Myeloid Leukemia Care?

What Role Does Telemedicine Play in Acute Myeloid Leukemia Care? 

Does Acute Myeloid Leukemia Prognosis Vary by Age?

Does Acute Myeloid Leukemia Prognosis Vary by Age? 

Advice for Acute Myeloid Leukemia Patients Seeking a Clinical Trial

Advice for Acute Myeloid Leukemia Patients Seeking a Clinical Trial 


Transcript:

Sasha Tanori:

Right. So a silent side effect that people facing cancer don’t always talk about is mental health. Are there any treatments or coping methods that you recommend for patients and care partners?

Dr. Catherine Lai:

Yeah, so I would say to get social work involved early on, I think there’s also…it’s silent, because there’s a lot of stigma around it, is that is something that we should be talking about or not talking about or…I can handle it, that sort of thing, so I introduce our social worker very early to know that she is a resource for the patients, no matter how big or how small, just to try to get them used to that idea. What I would also say is just talking with as many people as possible as I’m sure you realize that the network and the community is small, and everybody is willing to help each other out. So once you put yourself out there, you’ll realize that there are other resources out there, and you’re not alone in this journey, and what your cancer team offers you is different than what other patients who have gone through exactly what you’ve gone through can offer, and so I know that there are other resources out there in terms of societies that connect other patients who have the same diagnosis. So I would say it’s really just about education and talking and knowing that it’s okay to talk about your diagnosis and no matter what format that is, or if it’s a little bit now and a little bit later, and also just normalizing it, in the sense of the feelings you have are valid and normal. And if you don’t have those feelings is actually when I get worried about patients because you’re supposed to have certain reactions, you were a young patient and you were diagnosed with cancer.

That’s not a trivial thing. And we’re just…we’re all here to help you and help the patients go through everything.

What Questions Should I Ask If I Suspect Acute Myeloid Leukemia?

What Questions Should I Ask If I Suspect Acute Myeloid Leukemia? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

As an acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patient, what questions should a patient ask if they suspect AML? Watch as expert Dr. Catherine Lai shares tests that can help rule out AML and common symptoms that may serve as warning flags to patients.

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Are Acute Myeloid Leukemia Patients at Risk for Secondary Cancers?

Are Acute Myeloid Leukemia Patients at Risk for Secondary Cancers?

How Has Acute Myeloid Leukemia Detection Evolved Over Time?

How Has Acute Myeloid Leukemia Detection Evolved Over Time? 

Acute Myeloid Leukemia, Recommended Coping Methods and Mental Health

Acute Myeloid Leukemia, Recommended Coping Methods and Mental Health


Transcript:

Sasha Tanori:

Dr. Lai, I think another factor that played a role in my diagnosis is somewhat being delayed is my age, I was 24 at the time, what are some questions others who suspect they have AML should ask to rule out the diagnosis?

Dr. Catherine Lai:

So, Sasha, that’s a really good question. And what I would say is that, as you are aware, the median age of AML diagnosis is 68, so not to say that we don’t have young patients…I have plenty of young patients, but it doesn’t come to…it’s not a common thing to think about in younger patients right off the bat, the other thing that contributes to that is also AML compared to other cancers is an uncommon cancer. There are only 25,000 cases of newly diagnosed in the United States per year because it’s not as common in younger patients and because it’s not that common…doctors often want to rule out other simple things rather than just going straight to a cancer diagnosis though, unfortunately, that can lead to some delays, what I would say in young patients who are healthy is that they shouldn’t have low blood counts that can’t be explained for other reasons. So I think having prompt attention in terms of if their blood counts are abnormal, to really understanding why they’re abnormal, and those are things that can be easily work up, and if all those things are ruled out, then you’re talking about doing a bone marrow biopsy I don’t like to do procedures for unnecessary reasons, but it’s one of those things that you can also…

I mean, I think if you have a physician who is the astute and is thinking about that, that you can…you can get to a diagnosis pretty quickly, I mean AML is a diagnosis in the name acute. It comes on acutely, so that means days to week, so I suspect you are probably feeling very well and over a very short prior of time felt very unwell, and you’re very in tune to your body, and that is very important because patients are smarter than we give them credit for, and so being persistent and knowing that something is wrong goes a long way. Again, I’m sorry that you had to deal with that, and I’m glad that they finally made the right diagnosis, but I think just awareness and education. While it is an uncommon disease, I think having a larger burden and strain that happens on younger patients because you haven’t been working for the majority of your life, and it takes a huge toll on what your potential is, both as a person, but economically and all sorts of things. So it’s a huge problem.

Has AML Monitoring and Treatment Changed During COVID-19?

Has AML Monitoring and Treatment Changed During COVID-19? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Has acute myeloid leukemia (AML) monitoring changed during the COVID-19 pandemic? Watch as expert Dr. Catherine Lai shares how patients and caregivers were impacted in their AML care and gives advice on ways to provide optimal care for patients.

See More from Best AML Care No Matter Where You Live

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Does GVHD Ever Resolve in Acute Myeloid Leukemia Patients?

Does GVHD Ever Resolve in Acute Myeloid Leukemia Patients?

Does Acute Myeloid Leukemia Prognosis Vary by Age?

Does Acute Myeloid Leukemia Prognosis Vary by Age? 

What Role Does a Multidisciplinary Team Play in AML Care?

What Role Does a Multidisciplinary Team Play in AML Care? 


Transcript:

Sasha Tanori:

Can you speak on how monitoring and treating AML has changed during the pandemic?

Dr. Catherine Lai:

Yeah, so, unfortunately, as you experience it, you spent your induction in the hospital for several weeks, and when you’re able to be in the hospital with support, either from friends or from family, it makes the experience much, much easier and with COVID, especially at the height of the pandemic, we weren’t allowed our hospital. And I know several of my colleagues as well, the hospitals weren’t allowing any visitors and that put a lot of stress on the patient, on family members, on the staff, the nurses, the physicians, really the whole care team. Just because we were needing to spend extra time to make sure that everybody was updated, so either if we couldn’t do it on FaceTime, having to make sure other phone calls later, which is just…it is what it is. And we made the best of the situation. Currently, we are allowing to have a limited visitor policy, which is helpful. I think the other thing that has really changed is what we consider when we’re starting treatment, if patients obviously need induction chemotherapy and need to be in the hospital, we don’t change the recommendation based on that, but if there are patients who…

There are options whether or not the patient is done inpatient versus outpatient, I think that that’s a huge consideration in terms of quality of life and how we manage those patients.

How Has Acute Myeloid Leukemia Detection Evolved Over Time?

How Has Acute Myeloid Leukemia Detection Evolved Over Time? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

How has acute myeloid leukemia (AML) evolved over  time? Watch as expert Dr. Catherine Lai explains detection techniques that are used,  how AML risk  assessment has changed, and how test results are used in determining treatment options.

See More from Best AML Care No Matter Where You Live

Related Resources:

What Role Does Telemedicine Play in Acute Myeloid Leukemia Care?

What Role Does Telemedicine Play in Acute Myeloid Leukemia Care? 

What Questions Should I Ask If I Suspect Acute Myeloid Leukemia?

What Questions Should I Ask If I Suspect Acute Myeloid Leukemia? 

Has AML Monitoring and Treatment Changed During COVID-19?

Has AML Monitoring and Treatment Changed During COVID-19? 


Transcript:

Sasha Tanori:

Dr. Lai, early on before my diagnosis, AML, many of my doctors I saw dismissed my symptoms and attributed them to me being plus-sized. Can you share with us how detecting AML has evolved over the last several years?

Dr. Catherine Lai:

Yes, and I’m sorry to hear that, but what I would say about the diagnosis is that how we diagnose patients with AML, unfortunately, hasn’t changed significantly in the sense that we still have to rely on our standard techniques with the bone marrow biopsy. But what I would say is that the technology for how we risk-stratify patients and subsequently treat patients has improved because we have a better understanding of the molecular characteristics of AML now, and so it has helped us in terms of being able to identify more targeted treatments, where patients are more likely to respond and help us with both our short-term and our long-term plan.