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When Should CLL Patients Consider Treatment for Fatigue?

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Published on December 11, 2018

During this Ask the Expert segment, a Patient Power community member who struggles with fatigue wants to know more about when chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients should consider treating the side effect. CLL expert Dr. Jeff Sharman, from the Willamette Valley Cancer Institute and Research Center and The US Oncology Network, responds by explaining the indications for treatment, how other health issues come into play and what to discuss with your healthcare team before starting treatment. Watch now to learn more.

This is a Patient Empowerment Network program produced by Patient Power. We thank AbbVie, Inc. and Pharmacyclics for their support. These organizations have no editorial control. Patient Power is solely responsible for program content.

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Transcript | When Should CLL Patients Consider Treatment for Fatigue?

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

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

Andrew Schorr:

CLL fatigue is probably one of the most bothersome sort of clinical realities, and for some patients even though they may not meet other treatment criteria such as rapid rise in white blood cell counts, systematic (inaudible), marrow dysfunction. Sometimes fatigue is so debilitating that you need to do treatment for it.  In the 2008 guidelines, fatigue was one of the—it was like the sixth indication for when you treat CLL.   

And I've seen some patients, you know, one immediately jumps to my mind.  He's clinician himself, very busy individual, likes to surf and so on and so forth, but his CLL left him so fatigued that he had to cut back on clinical work and so forth.  And getting his CLL under control really made a huge difference for him.  So in the setting of CLL I think that you may wish to consider talking to your doctor about going ahead and treating.  

I find those are difficult, difficult discussions because if you don't have the more classic indications for therapy, it's hard to know.  Because fatigue can be a number of things.  It can be thyroid dysfunction.  It can be hormone imbalance with other hormones.  It can be nutrient deficiencies and so forth.  

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

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