Leukemia - Chronic Lymphocytic - CLL: Questions to Ask the Health Care Team

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 10/2017

ON THIS PAGE: You will find some questions to ask your doctor or other members of the health care team, to help you better understand your diagnosis, treatment plan, and overall care. Use the menu to see other pages.

Talking often with the health care team is important to make informed decisions about your health care. These suggested questions are a starting point to help you learn more about your care and treatment. You are also encouraged to ask additional questions that are important to you. You may want to print this list and bring it to your next appointment, or download Cancer.Net’s free mobile app for a digital list and other interactive tools to help manage your care.

Questions to ask after getting a diagnosis

  • What is my diagnosis?

  • Can you explain my pathology report (laboratory test results) to me?

  • What stage or risk group is the CLL? What does this mean?

  • Should I get a second opinion before starting treatment?

Questions to ask about choosing a treatment and managing side effects

  • Who will be leading my overall treatment?

  • How often do you treat people with CLL?

  • Where is the best place for me to be treated?

  • Will I need to stay in the hospital for treatment?

  • What are my options for treatment?

  • What is the goal of each treatment option?

  • What clinical trials are available for me? Where are they located, and how do I find out more about them?

  • What treatment plan do you recommend? Why?

  • If a clinical trial is recommended, will I receive treatment nearby or will I need to travel to the treatment center?

  • What is the goal of each treatment? Is it to eliminate the leukemia, help me feel better, or both?

  • Who will be part of my health care team, and what does each member do?

  • Do I need to start treatment right away? If not, please explain why treatment does not need to begin as soon as possible.

  • What are the possible side effects of this treatment, both in the short term and long term?

  • How will this treatment affect my daily life? Will I be able to work, exercise, and perform my usual activities?

  • Could this treatment affect my sex life? If so, how and for how long?

  • Could this treatment affect my ability to become pregnant or have children? If so, should I talk with a fertility specialist before cancer treatment begins?

  • If I’m worried about managing the costs of medical care, who can help me?

  • What support services are available to me? To my family?

  • Whom should I call with questions or problems?

Questions to ask about having targeted therapy or chemotherapy

  • What type of treatment is recommended?

  • What is the goal of this treatment?

  • How long will it take to give this treatment?

  • What side effects can I expect during treatment?

  • What are the possible long-term effects of having this treatment?

  • What can be done to relieve the side effects?

Questions to ask about planning follow-up care

  • What is the chance that the CLL will come back? Should I watch for specific signs or symptoms?

  • What long-term side effects or late effects are possible based on the treatment I received?

  • What survivorship support services are available to me? To my family?

  • What follow-up tests will I need, and how often will I need them?

  • Who will be leading my follow-up care?

  • How do I get a treatment summary and survivorship care plan to keep in my personal records?

The next section in this guide is Additional Resources. It offers some more resources on this website beyond this guide that may be helpful to you. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.