In some cases of advanced chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), the medical team may talk to you about palliative treatment (sometimes called supportive care).
Palliative treatment helps to improve your quality of life by managing the symptoms of leukaemia without trying to cure the disease. It can be used at any stage of advanced disease and does not mean giving up hope. Rather, it is about living for as long as possible in the most satisfying way you can.
As well as slowing the progress of leukaemia, palliative treatment can relieve any pain and help manage other symptoms. Treatment may include blood transfusions and short courses of radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy or other medicines. If you have ongoing symptoms, ask for a referral to the symptom management or palliative care team.
Palliative treatment is one aspect of palliative care, in which a team of health professionals aims to meet your physical, emotional, cultural, spiritual and social needs. The team also supports families and carers.
Watch video on how palliative treatment aims to manage symptoms and improve people’s quality of life without trying to cure the disease.
Podcast for people affected by advanced cancer
Dr Kate Melville, Haematology Staff Specialist, Calvary Mater Newcastle, and Conjoint Lecturer, The University of Newcastle; Karl Jobburn, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Haematology, Liverpool Hospital; Patricia Masters, Consumer; Karen Robinson, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council NSW; Dr Emma Verner, Staff Specialist, Haematology, and Medical Director, Bone Marrow Transplant and Apheresis Unit, Concord Hospital, and Clinical Senior Lecturer, The University of Sydney.
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The emotional impact of advanced cancer
First reactions and ongoing effects of an advanced cancer diagnosis
Making treatment decisions for advanced cancer
Weighing up the benefits and side effects of treatment
Caring for someone with advanced cancer
The emotional, physical and practical impacts for carers