Looking for help with a specific type of leukemia? We have pages for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Acute Myeloid Leukemia, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia, Myelofibrosis, and Myelodysplastic Syndrome.
Find resources and support to manage your financial concerns. Limited assistance from CancerCare® is available to eligible families for cancer-related costs.
Connect with others in our free support groups led by oncology social workers.
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Connect Education Workshops
Listen in by telephone or online as leading experts in oncology provide up-to-date information about cancer-related issues in one-hour workshops. Podcasts are also available.
- Taking Your Blood Cancer Treatment on Schedule, Mar 24, 2020
- Taking Your Treatment on Schedule: Its Importance in Managing Cancer, Feb 26, 2020
- Managing Eye and Vision Changes Related to Cancer Treatments, Mar 2, 2020
- Trends in Oncology and Treatment Planning: What You Need to Know, Mar 4, 2020
- Understanding the Costs of Care and Your Health Care Coverage, Mar 18, 2020
- New Perspectives in Clinical Trial Research, Mar 20, 2020
- Cancer and The Workplace: Understanding Your Legal Protections, Mar 25, 2020
- Participating in Decisions about Your Care, Apr 8, 2020
- For Caregivers: Care Coordination for Your Loved One Living with Cancer and Other Health Problems, Apr 22, 2020
- Updates from the 2019 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting, Dec 19, 2019
- Updates in the Treatment of Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, Nov 8, 2019
- Life with Graft vs. Host Disease (GVHD) Post Allogeneic Stem Cell or Bone Marrow Transplantation: New Treatment Approaches, Oct 17, 2019
- Current Perspectives on the Treatment of Relapsed/Refractory Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), Jun 20, 2019
- Medical Update on Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML), Jun 14, 2019
- Update on Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, Jun 13, 2019
- Living with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML), Jun 11, 2019
- Update on Lymphoma from the 2018 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting, Jan 15, 2019
- Treatment Update for Adults Living with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL), Jan 11, 2019
- Older Persons Living with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, Dec 13, 2018
- Updates from the 2018 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting, Dec 6, 2018
- Life with CLL: Taking Charge of Your Treatment Schedule, Nov 29, 2018
- Managing Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia and Its Complications, Nov 8, 2018
- Highlights from the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, Aug 28, 2018
- Treatment Update for Adults Living with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL), Jun 29, 2018
- Living with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML), Jun 26, 2018
- New Treatments for Childhood Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL), Jun 26, 2018
- Medical Update on Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML), Jun 22, 2018
- Update on Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), Jun 21, 2018
- Worldwide Clinical Trials for Blood Cancers, Jun 19, 2018
- Life with Graft vs. Host Disease (GVHD) Post Allogeneic Stem Cell or Bone Marrow Transplantation: New Treatment Approaches, Jun 14, 2018
- Managing the Complications of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), May 17, 2018
- Updates from the 2017 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting, Mar 15, 2018
- Life With Graft vs. Host Disease (GVHD) Post Allogeneic Stem Cell or Bone Marrow Transplantation: New Treatment Approaches, Mar 1, 2018
- Highlights from the 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, Sep 26, 2017
- Transplantation as a Treatment Option for Blood Cancers, Jun 28, 2016
- The Role of Exercise, Meditation and Nutrition, Nov 19, 2014
- Finding the Resources You Need to Manage the Costs of Living with Myeloproliferative Neoplasms (MPN), Nov 12, 2014
- When Your Loved One Has CML: How Caregivers Can Help Improve Adherence, Jun 19, 2013
- I Can’t Remember to Take My Pills on Time: Help! A Practical Guide to Follow, May 22, 2013
- Sharing Responsibility for Your Care, Apr 24, 2013
- Care for Your Bones During & After Cancer Treatment: Tips to Improve Bone Health, Nov 18, 2019
- Preventing Chemotherapy Induced Nausea and Vomiting, Oct 28, 2019
- Participating in Decisions about Your Care, Jun 19, 2019
- New Trends in Cancer Survivorship, Jun 18, 2019
- For Caregivers: Care Coordination for Your Loved One Living with Cancer and Other Health Problems, Jun 17, 2019
- Understanding the Costs of Care and Your Health Care Coverage, Jun 12, 2019
- Update on Clinical Trials: How They Work, Jun 10, 2019
- Cancer and the Workplace: Understanding Your Legal Protections, May 29, 2019
- Trends in Oncology and Treatment Planning: What You Need to Know, May 22, 2019
- Managing the Side Effects of Immunotherapy, May 15, 2019
- Understanding the Role of Immunotherapy in Treating Cancer, Apr 17, 2019
- Managing Eye and Vision Changes Related to Cancer Treatments, Apr 15, 2019
- Joys and Challenges of Pets in Your Home When You Have Cancer, Apr 8, 2019
- Taking Your Pills on Schedule: Its Importance in Treating Cancer, Apr 3, 2019
- Caregiving for Your Loved One with Cancer, Mar 19, 2019
- Life with Graft vs. Host Disease (GVHD) Post Allogeneic Stem Cell or Bone Marrow Transplantation: New Treatment Approaches, Dec 13, 2018
- Current Perspectives on Cancer Survivorship, Dec 11, 2018
- Genomics and the Future of Cancer Treatment, Oct 15, 2018
- Genomics and Genetics: What is the Difference?, Jun 25, 2018
- Update on CAR-T Cell Therapy, Jun 25, 2018
- Treatment-Related Rash and Dry Skin, Jun 20, 2018
- Current Perspectives on Cancer Survivorship, Jun 19, 2018
- What Are Biosimilars? Understanding Their Role in Cancer Treatments: Current and Future Perspectives, May 24, 2018
- Managing the Side Effects of Immunotherapy, May 2, 2018
- Understanding the Role of Immunotherapy in Treating Cancer, Apr 25, 2018
- Taking Your Pills on Schedule: Why It Is So Important in Managing Cancer, Apr 18, 2018
- Preventing Chemotherapy Induced Nausea and Vomiting, Apr 16, 2018
- Managing Eye and Vision Changes Related to Cancer Treatments, Feb 26, 2018
- Mind Body Techniques to Cope with the Stresses of Cancer, Nov 15, 2017
- What Are Generic Drugs: Understanding Their Role in Cancer Treatment, Jun 29, 2017
- For Caregivers: Care Coordination for Your Loved One Living with Cancer and Other Health Problems, Jun 14, 2017
- Taking Your Pills on Schedule: The Importance of Adherence in the Treatment of Cancer, Jun 14, 2017
- Participating in Decisions about Your Care, Jun 7, 2017
- Cancer and the Workplace: Understanding Your Legal Protections, May 24, 2017
- Preventing Chemotherapy Induced Nausea and Vomiting, May 22, 2017
- Understanding the Costs of Care and Your Health Care Coverage, May 17, 2017
- Trends in Oncology and Treatment Planning: What You Need to Know, May 3, 2017
- Managing the Side Effects of Immunotherapy, Mar 15, 2017
- Living with Cancer Throughout The Cancer Journey, Mar 10, 2017
- Understanding the Role of Immunotherapy in Treating Cancer, Mar 8, 2017
- Managing Eye and Vision Changes Related to Cancer Treatments, Mar 6, 2017
- What Are Biosimilars? Understanding Their Role in Cancer Treatment: Current and Future Perspectives, Feb 1, 2017
- Managing Sensory Disruptions During Cancer Treatments, Dec 5, 2016
- For Health Care Professionals: Care Coordination for Older Men Living with Cancer, Aug 23, 2016
- Precision Medicine in Cancer Treatment, Jun 29, 2016
- Managing the Costs of Living with Cancer, Jun 8, 2016
- Advances in Treating Chemotherapy Induced Nausea and Vomiting, May 23, 2016
- Taking Your Pills on Schedule – Why It Is So Important in Managing Cancer, Feb 10, 2016
- Nutrition and Healthy Eating Tips During and After Cancer Treatments, Feb 1, 2016
- Cancer and the Workplace: Knowing Your Legal Rights, Dec 10, 2015
- What’s New in Managing Blood Clots During Cancer Treatments, Oct 30, 2015
- For Health Care Professionals: Care Coordination for Older Men Living with Cancer, Jul 14, 2015
- Understanding Diagnostic Technologies and Biomarkers, May 6, 2015
- Healthy Eating and Managing Weight Changes During Cancer Treatment, Apr 13, 2015
- Managing the Costs of Living with Cancer, Feb 4, 2015
- For Caregivers: Practical Tips to Cope, Nov 14, 2014
- Highlights of the Affordable Care Act, Nov 11, 2014
- Managing Cancer Pain: What You Need to Know, Mar 21, 2014
- Understanding Chemotherapy-Induced Neutropenia: Low White Blood Cell Counts, Feb 21, 2014
- Cancer and the Workplace, Feb 6, 2014
- Advances in Treating Chemotherapy-Related Nausea and Vomiting, Jan 24, 2014
- Young Adult Survivorship: Fertility, Sexuality and Intimacy, Jun 28, 2013
- Understanding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for People Living with Cancer, Dec 12, 2012
- Helping Cancer Patients and Their Families Cope with the Stresses of Caregiving, Dec 6, 2012
- Managing Post-Treatment Neuropathy, Jul 17, 2012
- Stress Management for Caregivers: Practical Tips to Cope, Jun 29, 2012
- Changing Roles and Responsibilities for Caregivers, Jun 19, 2012
- Recapturing Joy and Finding Meaning, May 15, 2012
- Planning Your Comfort and Care at End of Life, May 10, 2012
- Using Mind/Body Techniques to Cope with the Stress of Survivorship, Apr 24, 2012
- Nutrition, Physical Activity and You: A Guide for People Living With Cancer, Nov 15, 2011
- Understanding the Important Role of Adherence in the Medical Management of Cancer, Sep 21, 2011
- Fear of Recurrence and Late Effects: Living with Uncertainty, Jul 12, 2011
- Money Matters: Finding Resources to Manage Cancer Treatment Costs, Jun 22, 2011
- Stress Management for Caregivers: Taking Care of Yourself Physically and Emotionally, Jun 14, 2011
- The Challenges of Coping with Cancer and Other Health Problems, Jun 1, 2011
- Weight Changes After Cancer Treatment: Why is it Happening and What Can I Do About It, May 10, 2011
- Mouth Pain and Discomfort: All You Need to Know About Mouth Sores and Oral Mucositis , Apr 27, 2011
- Helping Children and Teens Understand When a Parent or Loved One Has Cancer, Apr 20, 2011
- Chemobrain: The Impact of Cancer Treatments on Memory, Thinking and Attention, Apr 12, 2011
- Survivors Too: Communicating With and Among Family, Friends and Loved Ones, Jul 13, 2010
- Survivorship and Workplace Transitions, Jun 22, 2010
- Communicating with Your Health Care Team After Treatment: Making the Most of Your Visit, May 18, 2010
- Trouble Sleeping? Sleep Better to Feel Better: Tips You Can Use, Apr 13, 2010
- Helping Teachers and Educators Support Siblings of Children with Cancer, Oct 8, 2009
- Understanding Peripheral Neuropathy, Jul 16, 2009
- Survivors Too: Family, Friends and Loved Ones - Managing the Fatigue of Caregiving, Jun 23, 2009
- The Importance of Nutrition and Physical Activity, May 19, 2009
- For Parents, Caregivers and Professionals: Helping Brothers and Sisters of Children Living with Cancer, May 14, 2009
- Dental Health During Cancer Treatments, Apr 24, 2009
- Managing the Stress of Survivorship, Apr 14, 2009
- Medical Emergencies in Cancer Treatment, Apr 1, 2009
- Balancing Cancer and Careers: Living and Working with Cancer, Mar 12, 2009
- For Caregivers: Coping with Holidays, Special Occasions and Birthdays, Throughout the Year, Dec 12, 2008
- Survivors Too: Family, Friends and Loved Ones, Jun 24, 2008
- Rediscovering Intimacy in Your Relationships Following Treatment, May 13, 2008
- The Importance of Communicating with Your Doctor About Follow-Up Care, Apr 22, 2008
- Finding Hope and Meaning After Treatment, Jun 19, 2007
- My Treatment is Over: Why Do I Feel So Alone and Sad?, May 15, 2007
- Neuropathy and Joint Aches: New Post Treatment Challenges, Apr 17, 2007
- Managing Your Costs of Recovery, Jun 20, 2006
- Balancing Your Needs and Your Role as a Caregiver, Jun 13, 2006
- Is It My Cancer or Am I Getting Older?, May 23, 2006
- The Bereaved Caregiver in the Workplace, May 10, 2006
- Stress Management Tips for Survivors, Apr 25, 2006
- The Challenge of Creating Supportive Work Environments for Employees with Cancer and Their Caregivers, Apr 5, 2006
Read or order our free Connect booklets and fact sheets offering easy-to-read information about the latest cancer treatments, managing side effects and coping with cancer.
- Treatment Update: Chronic Lymphocytic LeukemiaNew!
- Adherence and CML: Overcome the Challenges to Taking Your Pills
- Adults Living With Acute Lymphocytic/Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)
- Bone Marrow Transplantation as a Treatment Option: What You Need to Know
- Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia Treatment Update
- Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia: Finding Emotional Support for Long-term Illness
- Coping With Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia
- Coping With Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)
- Coping With Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
- Coping With Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
- Coping With Side Effects of Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML)
- Latest News in Blood Cancer Research: Highlights From the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology
- Managing Practical Concerns Raised by Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
- Managing Practical Concerns Raised by CML
- Treatment Update: Acute Myeloid Leukemia
- Treatment Update: Blood Cancers
- Treatment Update: Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
- Your Guide to the Latest Cancer Research and Treatments: Highlights From the 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology
- Your Guide to the Latest Cancer Research and Treatments: Highlights From the 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology
- Coping With Cancer: Tools to Help You Live
- Caregiving for Your Loved One With CancerNew!
- Helping Children When a Family Member Has Cancer
- Communicating With Your Health Care Team
- Understanding and Managing Chemotherapy Side Effects
- Sources of Financial Assistance
- Finding Resources in Your Community
- If You've Just Been Diagnosed
- “What Can I Say to a Newly Diagnosed Loved One?”
- Caring Advice for Caregivers: How Can You Help Yourself?
Every month, featured experts answer your questions about coping with cancer. View all questions and answers.
I was diagnosed with CLL in 2003 and have no symptoms. My white cell count is about 120 and my platelets are at 290. My oncologist wants me to take Rituxan to get the counts down. I do not have an enlarged spleen and have not gotten sick. I have been told by my primary doctor that you should treat the symptoms not the counts. How do I get my oncologist to understand this?A.
CLL or, chronic lymphocytic leukemia is the most common adult leukemia. The average age of diagnosis is 65 to 67 years of age, although it is diagnosed in younger adults as well. It is one of four main types of leukemias. Because it is a chronic disease people can go years without treatment, so it is important to monitor the disease for any changes.
It appears you are struggling with different medical opinions. Your doctor suggests focusing on symptoms while your oncologist believes that the elevated counts indicate it is time for treatment. This is a common struggle for patients – what to do when you receive differing medical opinions? There is often uncertainty in which is the best option, and ultimately the decision rests with the patient.
Doctors can suggest, strongly sometimes, treatment options that patients do not feel comfortable with. When that happens it is helpful to open up a dialogue with your doctor where you can explore the rationale behind his/her thinking and you can express your concerns. An open and honest relationship with your health care team (often referred to as a partnership) is important. For many patients this additional knowledge helps them make an informed decision. For oncologists and other members of the health care team, it lets them know about what is important to the patient and how they want to approach his/her disease.
Here are a few additional resources addressing CLL treatment and patient/doctor communication:
- The National Cancer Institute’s Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) Treatment Summary
- CancerCare’s publications, “Doctor, Can We Talk?” Tips for Communicating With Your Health Care Team and Your Health Care Team: Your Doctor is Only the Beginning
I'm worried my husband has some ongoing side effects from his treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Do you know if there are specialists who treat side effects from treatments?A.
Blood cancers are called hematopoietic cancers and treated by hematologists (doctors who specialize in blood disorders). Blood cancers consist of three types: leukemia, disease of the blood; lymphoma, disease of the lymphatic system; and multiple myeloma, disease of the bone marrow. There are numerous subtypes of all three blood cancers, especially among lymphomas and leukemias. The diagnosis is very important because it will directly impact the treatment options, and different treatments may result in different side effects.
ALL is a cancer of the white blood cells, the cells in the body that normally fight infection. Most cases of leukemia are associated with changes in genes and chromosomes in the cancerous white cells, which is the case for ALL.
Because many standard cancer treatments are very powerful, they also carry a risk of side effects; loss of hair, fatigue and nausea are the most common. Most side effects go away after treatment. However, some treatments can have ongoing and on occasion permanent side effects, which can include neuropathy, “chemobrain” and anemia, among others.
The professionals who make up his treatment team are the best people to address his side effects. His doctor might adjust treatment when side effects are dangerous or harmful. If side effects continue post-treatment, again his treatment team is the best source for help. Your husband may be prescribed medications to help manage side effects, or referred to a specialist who can monitor and treat side effects. Specialists include physical therapists, neurologists, psychiatrists, nutritionists or other specialized health care professionals.
Please take a look at our Connect Education Workshop podcasts that address the side effects of treatment. In addition, CancerCare also offers a number of publications that might be helpful in managing side effects.
Additional resources addressing ALL treatment and side effects include: - Leukemia and Lymphoma Society - National Cancer Institute’s Adult ALL Treatment Summary
My 6-year-old son is getting treatment for leukemia. He is getting so much attention right now that his older brother is feeling left out. What can I do?A.
When a child is diagnosed with cancer, it’s a frightening time for the whole family. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for siblings to feel like their needs are being neglected. They may feel jealous, angry, frightened, or have other strong emotions.
Here are some tips for helping siblings manage:
- Make time to talk to individual siblings. Ask them how they are doing, and take time to really listen to them.
- Invite siblings to join you in fun activities. Siblings need to laugh, have fun, and be themselves, especially during this difficult time.
- Send emails or cards to siblings to let them know you are thinking of them.
- Encourage siblings to choose a special support person. Then, help them connect with that person. Keep in mind that they may want you to be that person.
The key is not to expect that siblings will just “get over” these feelings with time. In order to maintain their strength, courage and hope, they need your love and support more than ever.
These books may be a useful when helping children who have a sibling with cancer:
- Life Isn’t Always A Day At The Beach, by Pam Ganz
- What is Cancer, Anyway? Explaining Cancer to Children of All Ages, by Karen Carney
- Chemo Crusader and the Cancer Fighting Crew, by Melodie Homer
You can also visit SuperSibs!, an organization providing support to siblings of children with cancer.
About six months ago, my five-year-old daughter was diagnosed with leukemia and I had to leave work to take care of her. Now, I'm struggling financially and need help paying the bills. Where can I get help?A.
Children with cancer typically undergo an intense treatment schedule and their care can become a full-time job in itself for the parent or guardian. Unexpected expenses can range from uncovered treatment costs to transportation and childcare, as well as those of daily living, which also especially difficult to meet when there is a loss of income.
CancerCare, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and the National Children’s Cancer Society, offer limited financial assistance for some treatment and treatment-related expenses for eligible families. The American Childhood Cancers Organization also provides a listing of possible resources.
Ask the social worker at your child’s treatment center for information on organizations in your community that assist children with serious illnesses. In addition, many large treatment centers have special funds for children to help defray the cost of treatment and related costs. Make sure you inquire about whether your treatment center has such a fund, and how you might qualify.
Finding help with the expenses of daily living is more challenging. A possible resource includes the 211 referral line of your local United Way which provides links to community programs that may offer financial assistance or practical help. You can also try negotiating payment plans for your monthly bills with your utility company, phone provider and other creditors, who may also offer assistance programs to people in need.
For additional guidance, please read our fact sheet, Sources of Financial Assistance.
One of my best friends has had a bone marrow transplant for leukemia and will hopefully be getting out of the hospital soon. I'm looking for a website where people can sign up to sit with her over the next few months and take her to doctor appointments. Do you have any suggestions?A.
The transition home after a bone marrow transplant can be a time of great readjustment. There may be many outpatient medical visits and it will likely take time for the patient to return to normal levels of activity. It can be helpful during this time to organize a support team to assist with the many practical aspects of returning home. However, friends and family may not be aware of the needs of a loved one recovering from a transplant or know how best to help. Luckily there are resources that can help loved ones organize help and support for an individual recovering from a bone marrow transplant, or any cancer treatment.
My Cancer Circle™ is a free online private support community for caregivers of people facing cancer. At mycancercircle.net you can easily create a community and coordinate volunteer activities that will meet your friend’s needs as she recovers from her bone marrow transplant, such as preparing meals or arranging transportation to medical appointments. By creating a support community you can inform friends of what tasks need to be done and friends can sign up for the activities they can best assist with. My Cancer Circle is also a great way to quickly and easily keep your online support community informed of recovery updates, milestones reached, photos, or other information.
Magnolia Meals at Home
A meal delivery program that helps patients by providing nourishing meals to households affected by cancer. Is currently available in and around Woodcliff Lake, NJ and Andover, MA, Raleigh-Durham, NC and New Haven, CT (as well areas in New York, New Hampshire and Boston, MA). For more information please visit magnoliamealsathome.com or contact Kathy Nugent, LCSW at 800-813-4673, ext. 6809.
Browse all CancerCare services
Be The Match®
Blood & Marrow Transplant Information Network
Bone Marrow and Cancer Foundation
Children’s Leukemia Research Association
National Bone Marrow Transplant Link
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS)
The Max Foundation