Leukemia (cont.)

Sources of Support

Learning you have leukemia can change your life and the lives of those close to you. These changes can be hard to handle. It's normal for you, your family, and your friends to have new and confusing feelings to work through.

Concerns about treatments and managing side effects, hospital stays, and medical bills are common. You may also worry about caring for your family, keeping your job, or continuing daily activities.

Here's where you can go for support:

  • Doctors, nurses, and other members of your health care team can answer many of your questions about treatment, working, or other activities.
  • Social workers, counselors, or members of the clergy can be helpful if you want to talk about your feelings or concerns. Often, social workers can suggest resources for financial aid, transportation, home care, or emotional support.
  • Support groups can also help. In these groups, patients or their family members meet with other patients or their families to share what they have learned about coping with the disease and the effects of treatment. Groups may offer support in person, over the telephone, or on the Internet. You may want to talk with a member of your health care team about finding a support group.
  • Information specialists at 1-800-4-CANCER and at LiveHelp (http://www.cancer.gov/help) can help you locate programs, services, and publications. They can give you names of national organizations that offer services to people with cancer and their families.

Taking Part in Cancer Research

Cancer research has led to real progress in leukemia treatment. Because of research, adults and children with leukemia can look forward to a better quality of life and less chance of dying from the disease. Continuing research offers hope that, in the future, even more people with this disease will be treated successfully.

Doctors all over the country are conducting many types of clinical trials (research studies in which people volunteer to take part). Clinical trials are designed to answer important questions and to find out whether new approaches are safe and effective.

Doctors are studying methods of new and better ways to treat leukemia, and ways to improve quality of life. They are testing new targeted therapy, biological therapy, and chemotherapy. They also are working with various combinations of treatments.

Even if people in a trial do not benefit directly, they still make an important contribution by helping doctors learn more about leukemia and how to control it. Although clinical trials may pose some risks, doctors do all they can to protect their patients.

If you are interested in being part of a clinical trial, talk with your doctor.

NCI's Web site includes a section on clinical trials at http://www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials. It has general information about clinical trials as well as detailed information about specific ongoing studies of leukemia. Information specialists at 1-800-4-CANCER or at LiveHelp at http://www.cancer.gov/help can answer questions and provide information about clinical trials.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/14/2014

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Leukemia - Symptoms Question: For leukemia, what were the symptoms and signs you experienced?
Leukemia - Treatments Question: What was the treatment for your leukemia?
Leukemia - Types Question: What type of leukemia were you, a friend, or relative diagnosed with?