NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

35 NCCN Guidelines for Patients ® : Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, 2019 4  Making treatment decisions Deciding between options Deciding between options Deciding which option is best can be hard. Doctors from different fields of medicine may have different opinions on which option is best for you. This can be very confusing. Your spouse or partner may disagree with which option you want. This can be stressful. In some cases, one option hasn’t been shown to work better than another. Some ways to decide on treatment are discussed next. 2 nd opinion The time around deciding a treatment is very stressful. People with cancer often want to get treated as soon as possible. They want to make their cancer go away before it spreads farther. While cancer can’t be ignored, usually there is time to think about and choose which option is best for you. You may wish to have another doctor review your test results and suggest a treatment plan. This is called getting a 2 nd opinion. You may completely trust your doctor, but a 2 nd opinion about which option is best can help. Copies of the pathology report, imaging, and other test results need to be sent to the doctor giving the 2 nd opinion. Some people feel uneasy asking for copies from their doctors. However, a 2 nd opinion is a normal part of cancer care. When doctors have cancer, most will talk with more than one doctor before choosing their treatment. What’s more, some health plans require a 2 nd opinion. If your health plan doesn’t cover the cost of a 2 nd opinion, you have the choice of paying for it yourself. If the two opinions are the same, you may feel more at peace about treatment. If the two opinions differ, think about getting a 3 rd opinion. A 3 rd opinion may help you decide between your options. Choosing your cancer treatment is a very important decision. It can affect your length and quality of life. Support groups Support groups often include people at different stages of treatment. Some may be in the process of deciding while others may be finished with treatment. At support groups, you can ask questions and hear about the experiences of other people with CLL. If your hospital or community doesn’t have support groups for people with CLL, check out the websites on the next page. Compare benefits and downsides Every option has benefits and downsides. Consider these when deciding which option is best for you. Talking to others can help identify benefits and downsides you haven’t thought of. Scoring each factor from 0 to 10 can also help since some factors may be more important to you than others.