Don’t Delay Bringing Up CML Concerns, a Doctor Says

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To ensure best outcomes, patients with chronic myeloid leukemia should maintain frequent communication with their care teams — even between appointments.

Patients should not wait until their next appointment — which may be months away — to discuss complications from chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) treatment, as their clinical team may be able to address any issues sooner, explained Dr. Jorge E. Cortes.

Cortes, who is is the director of the Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University, spoke with CURE® at the 2024 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting. He emphasized that patients should be active participants in their CML care by having goals of care and open lines of communication with their health care team.

“Always express everything that you're feeling. Certainly not everything that happens is from the disease or from the treatment, but at least bring it up,” he said.

Transcript:

One important thing is that the goals of therapy [and] the assessment of the quality of life of the impact, is [the patient’s goals]. It's not the physician. Our role is to guide them. What the patients’ goals are is for them.

The significance of this, [is that] there are side effects that I can quantitate because there are tests. [For example,] how much the elevation of the live transaminase — that's a test. But a lot of these are depend on the patient.

So always make sure that you communicate properly … Always express everything that you're feeling. Certainly not everything that happens is from the disease or from the treatment, but at least bring it up. Make sure that you had a constant flow of communication even between visits to make sure that if something happens, your doctor knows and is able to help you. Do not wait until the next visit in three or six months.

Editor's Note: This program was made possible with support from Novartis Pharmaceuticals.

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