Planning Treatment

There are many treatment options for people with leukemia. The choice of treatment depends on your age and general health, the type of leukemia you have, whether or not it has spread outside the bone marrow, and other factors.

If tests show that you have leukemia, you should talk with your doctor and make treatment decisions as soon as possible, although many patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia do not require treatment for many years.

Working With a Team of Specialists

A team of specialists often treats people with leukemia. The team will keep the primary doctor informed about the patient's progress. The team may include a hematologist who is a specialist in blood and blood-forming tissues, a medical oncologist who is a specialist in cancer treatment, and a radiation oncologist who is a specialist in radiation therapy.

Before starting treatment, you may want another doctor to review the diagnosis and treatment plan. Some insurance companies require a second opinion. Others may pay for a second opinion if you or your doctor requests it.

Clinical Trials for Leukemia

Some leukemia patients take part in studies of new treatments. These studies, called clinical trials, are designed to find out whether a new treatment is safe and effective and better than current treatments. Talk to your doctor if you are interested in taking part in a clinical trial.

The U.S. National Institutes of Health, through its National Library of Medicine and other Institutes, maintains a database of clinical trials at ClinicalTrials.gov. Click here to search for current clinical trials on leukemia.