Treatment

Cancer treatment can be complex, but these pages will describe your options in easy-to-understand terms. You will learn about choosing a blood cancer specialist, understanding lab and imaging tests, making treatment decisions, managing side effects, when to consider complementary and alternative therapies, and more.

We’re Here to Help. Our Information Specialists are available to help guide you through your journey.
 

In this section:

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Your Treatment Team

Oncologists and hematologists are specialists who treat persons with leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, myelodysplastic syndromes and myeloproliferative diseases. Pediatric hematologist oncologists treat children, adolescents and some young adults who have blood cancers. The oncologist or hematologist-oncologist coordinates a treatment and follow-up plan that involves other doctors as well as nurses, social workers, case m...

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Choosing a Blood Cancer Specialist or a Treatment Center

Taking an active role in making decisions regarding your treatment can have a positive effect on your health and quality of life. One of your first choices as an active participant in your care is to either select a specialist to manage your treatment or to choose a treatment center. You may be seeking a blood cancer specialist or a treatment center because you: Are currently having ...

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Communicating with Your Specialist

Communication with your specialist and the team coordinating your care is very important. Tell your doctor how much you want to know about your diagnosis, treatment options and test results so you can function together as a team. Some people want to know every detail. Others want to know only the basics and trust their doctor to choose the most appropriate treatment. Here are some suggestions that can help you get...

Understanding Blood, Marrow and the Lymphatic System

Understanding your diagnosis will help you make informed decisions about your treatment, and give you a greater understanding of the scientific advances in blood cancer treatment and improvements in quality of life for survivors. Knowing about normal blood and marrow and the lymphatic system can also help you better understand your diagnosis.  ...

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Lab and Imaging Tests

Doctors use several different lab and imaging tests to help detect (diagnose) a blood cancer (leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, myelodysplastic syndromes or myeloproliferative disease). You may need to undergo additional tests to confirm your diagnosis. Once your diagnosis is confirmed, your doctor may need to test you for certain genetic, cellular or molecular characteristics that will help him or her treat your speci...

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Making Treatment Decisions

Adults living with blood cancer must make decisions about treatment, family, work or school and finances. If your child has been diagnosed, you must make similar decisions for your son or daughter. Gathering Information and Support You'll need to choose: The oncology practice, hospital or center where your treatment will take place The specialist who will develop and coordinate the treatment plan The ...

Types of Treatment

The factors that will determine your treatment regimen may include: The type of blood cancer Your disease's subtype, phase, category and/or stage Your cytogenetic analysis results Your overall health Your symptoms Your white cell count The cancer cells' location Your rate of disease progression Whether you've had cancer in the past and subsequent chemotherapy to treat it Whether you've ha...

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Managing Side Effects

Work closely with your doctor and cancer care team to arm yourself with information about what to expect and how to cope, both physically and mentally.  For some patients, side effects may last well after treatment is completed or may be permanent.  For most patients, side effects are temporary and go away when the body adjusts to therapy or once treatment ends. On the other hand, some patients suffer sy...

Integrative Medicine and Complementary and Alternative Therapies

The emergence of integrative medicine (IM) has prompted greater awareness of the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies as part of cancer care. When a CAM therapy is used in addition to chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy or surgery, it's referred to as a "complementary" therapy. When a therapy is used alone or instead of the proven standard of care, it's referred to as an "a...

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Follow-Up Care and Survivorship

Even after you're in remission or your disease is under control, regular follow-up care is critically important. You'll need to visit your doctor for regular follow-up care. He or she monitors your health and looks for signs that you may need more treatment. Your doctor will also speak with you about monitoring for long-term effects or late effects.   The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (...