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Strategies for Understanding Your CLL Blood Tests and Engaging With Your Physician

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Published on October 31, 2012

Dr. Susan Leclair, a hematology researcher and expert in the many tests CLL patients may undergo, helps newly diagnosed patients build a strategy for understanding the blood tests. She stresses the importance of taking each test and glossary term one-by-one and encourages patients to engage in dialogue with their medical teams.

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Transcript | Strategies for Understanding Your CLL Blood Tests and Engaging With Your Physician

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor.  Please have this discussion with your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

 

And I think one of the best ways to do it, as I said in the other room, was take your CBC, sit down with them--that’s going to be your bridge--and say, so what does this mean?  Explain this to me.  Why--and when you say, this is what we’re going to do, this is how I’m looking at this, how does it relate to that specific test?  Now, he or she might say, well, it doesn’t relate to that test at all.  Okay.  Let’s go to the next one.  What you need to do in that very unfamiliar, very Martian kind of relationship is to sit down and deal with maybe three, four, or five tests.  Any more than that, you’re going to get confused. 

So the first time, maybe white cell count, lymphocyte count, hemoglobin, and maybe that’s all.  And then the next time pick another three or four and understand that because the second time you go what you should say is, okay, here was my first CBC, now I have our newest CBC.  What is the difference in the white count, the hemoglobin and the platelet count, and now let’s add on three more.  This is not a sprint.  This is a marathon.  You’re not going to learn everything all at once, and you have the time to take it slowly and understand each one. 

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor.  Please have this discussion with your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

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