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Changing Your Lifestyle Following Treatment of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)

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Published on March 1, 2016

Dr. Charles Craddock of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, UK, discusses the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle following treatment of acute leukemias. Ensuring good sleeping patterns, a balanced diet and incorporating exercise into the everyday routine, as well as having family and friends' support, is important to a successful transition into normal life. Recorded at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) 2015 Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL.

This programme has been supported by Pfizer, through an unrestricted educational grant to the Patient Empowerment Foundation


Transcript | Changing Your Lifestyle Following Treatment of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)

If patients’ blood counts have recovered and they’ve been allowed to go home, I think support from friends or family is very important.  Eating a healthy diet, and we’re fairly liberal about what people can eat, people… your appetite changes after chemotherapy.  Eating little and often, and, I think, getting into an exercise routine is really helpful; going out for a walk or more twice a day, having a little exercise chart pinned to the fridge, that’s really important.  You’d want to be thoughtful about patients sleeping well, perhaps care of their Hickman line.

But it’s often really, really good for morale to go home, but that first 24 hours going home can be a bit scary, because it’s like you’re coming out of a cocoon. And so patients need to be reassured about that, they need to be reassured that their blood counts have come up and the risk of infection is pretty low, but also that they can of course contact their healthcare team.  And then they have to prepare themselves for the thought of the next cycle of chemotherapy and then possibly a transplant.  But increasingly you’d be saying to patients that it’s a bit like running a marathon, but the aim of the marathon is to cure the disease.

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