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What Guidance Can CLL Specialists Offer Patients?

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Published on January 27, 2020

Key Takeaways

·      Consult a CLL specialist when considering testing and treatment options.

·      A patient’s lifestyle is an important factor when choosing a treatment plan.

·      Talk to your doctor about your daily activities to help determine what treatment is right for you.  

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia expert and lymphoma doctor, Dr. Farrukh Awan from UT Southwestern Medical Center, explains the importance of consulting with a CLL specialist before starting therapy, and how lifestyle factors can help determine which treatment plan will work best in your unique situation. Dr. Awan recommends talking to one or more specialists about testing and treatment options, and shares some factors to consider when choosing a course of care.

This program is sponsored by AbbVie Inc., Genentech, Inc. and Adaptive Biotechnologies. These organizations have no editorial control. It is produced by Patient Power, and Patient Power is solely responsible for program content.

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Transcript | What Guidance Can CLL Specialists Offer Patients?

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.

Dr. Awan:                   

My job as a CLL doctor is to figure out this alphabet soup and make it easier for you and shepherd you towards the right treatment in my opinion. You are not the expert, I am. This is what I went to school for, and trained years and years for, and I do day in and day out; nine out of 10 times the patient can be shepherded to a treatment based on my biases. And that’s why it’s extremely important to talk to at least one CLL, maybe two CLL specialists.

You don’t stop at the first dealership to buy a car, unless you really trust that dealership, maybe on the third or fourth car you would probably go to the same dealership. Remember the first car you bought? You must to have gone to at least two dealerships. This is a life decision; this is probably the biggest decision you make in your life, right? When to start treatment, when to get a CT scan, when to get all of this testing done? And I agree with Nicole, I think you need to have—this is what I would do, X, Y and Z; this is an 18 month treatment, this is a lifelong treatment, this is a short treatment with these side effects, this is a long treatment which might be hard on the kidneys.

 

This is a long treatment which might cause some bruising and bleeding. Lifestyle issues—I’m a very athletic person, I play tackle football every weekend, maybe certain treatments are not good for you; because you have a big spleen and you’re going to have a problem. So, those are the kind of discussions that you want to have, so my point is, every patient is unique, every patient is special, and you need to talk, we need to talk to our patients. And the patients need to tell us what’s important for them, and that’s when you can decide.

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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