Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML): Newly Diagnosed
Being told you have acute myeloid leukemia (AML) can be scary, and you may have many questions. But you have people on your healthcare team to help.
Coping with fear
It’s normal to feel afraid. Learning about your leukemia and about the treatment options you have can make you feel less afraid. This also helps you work with your healthcare team and make the best choices for your treatment. You can also ask to speak with a counselor.
Working with your healthcare team
Your healthcare team might include:
Hematologist/oncologist. This is a doctor who specializes in treating cancers of the blood, including leukemia.
Medical oncologist. This is a doctor who specializes in treating cancer with medicines such as chemotherapy.
Radiation oncologist. This is a doctor who specializes in treating cancer with radiation.
You might have other types of doctors, nurses, or healthcare professionals on your team as well. They will answer any questions you may have. They’ll help you through each of the steps you’ll take before, during, and after treatment. Your team will let you know what tests you need and the results of those tests. They’ll guide you in making treatment decisions and help prepare you and your loved ones for what’s ahead.
Learning about treatment options
To decide the best course of treatment for you, your healthcare team needs to know as much as they can about your leukemia. This may involve getting some tests and working with more than one healthcare provider.
It's important to talk with your doctors about your treatment choices, and their benefits and risks. Make sure you understand what treatment will be like, and be sure to ask questions if there is anything you are not sure about. In most cases AML tends to grow quickly. Because of this, it's important to start treatment soon after you are diagnosed.
Coping with cancer can be very stressful. Talk with your healthcare team about seeing a counselor. They can refer you to someone who can help. You can also visit support groups to talk with other people coping with your type of leukemia. Ask your healthcare team about local support groups.
March 21, 2017
Alteri, Richard, M.D.,Cunningham, Louise, RN