Benefits and disadvantages of treatment for CML

Many people are frightened at the idea of having leukaemia treatments, particularly because of the side effects that can occur. However, these can usually be controlled with medicines.

Treatment can be given for different reasons and the potential benefits will vary depending on your individual situation.

If you have been offered treatment in the chronic phase, it will aim to control the leukaemia for a long time and have few side effects. In this case, deciding whether or not to have treatment may not be difficult.

However, if you are in the blast phase and have been offered more intensive treatment, it may cause more side effects and have a lower chance of controlling the leukaemia. In this case, it may be more difficult to decide whether or not to go ahead.

Making decisions about treatment in these circumstances is always difficult, and you may need to talk to your doctor in detail about whether or not you want to have treatment. If you choose not to have treatment, you can have supportive (palliative) care, with medicines to control any symptoms.

If you want to stop your treatment, it’s important to tell a doctor or specialist nurse. They can discuss your decision with you and offer you advice. They will also make a record of your decision in your medical notes.

Back to Coming to your decision

Finding out your treatment options

Knowing basic information about your type of cancer and different treatments options can help you to make an informed treatment decision.

Making your decision

If  you’re struggling to come to a decision about treatment, try following these five steps.