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Oral Therapies for CLL/SLL: Your Doctor Discussion Guide

Posted on August 13, 2020
Article written by
Kelly Crumrin

Treating chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL) can be challenging, and so can understanding your treatment options. With several new drugs for CLL/SLL having gained approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in recent years, it’s a good time to start a discussion with your doctor about your choices. Whether you are actively treating your CLL/SLL or are still on “watch and wait,” knowing all of your options can help you receive the best care possible for your chronic leukemia.

Traditional chemotherapy, administered intravenously (by IV) at a cancer treatment center, works by attacking all rapidly growing cells in the body. A newer category of CLL/SLL treatment is known as targeted therapy because these drugs target specific proteins on or in cancer cells. All cancer treatments cause side effects, but targeted therapies tend to cause far fewer side effects and be more effective than older treatments. Many of the newer targeted therapies are oral and can be taken by mouth at home as a pill or capsule.

If you would like to learn more about oral targeted therapies and whether they may be a good option to treat your CLL/SLL, you can use this doctor discussion guide to start a conversation with your health care provider.

Your doctor will explain the risks and benefits of each treatment option and make recommendations, but the decision about how to treat your CLL/SLL is ultimately up to you. The best treatment plan is the one you both agree on after discussing your goals.

Read more about Oral Treatments vs. Chemotherapy for CLL/SLL.

Kelly Crumrin is a senior editor at MyHealthTeams and leads the creation of content that educates and empowers people with chronic illnesses. Learn more about her here.

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