Support for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in Adults

Doctors at NYU Langone’s Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center monitor you closely after treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia to ensure the cancer has not returned. These visits usually include blood tests and sometimes bone marrow aspiration and biopsy.

The time between follow-up appointments can vary, but may occur every three to six months for the first two years after treatment. If there are no signs of leukemia, doctors may not need to see you as often.

If you do experience a recurrence, our doctors may prescribe chemotherapy drugs similar to those used in your initial treatment, different chemotherapy drugs, or investigational medications as part of a clinical trial. Allogeneic stem cell transplantation may also be an option if this approach has not yet been tried.

Throughout the treatment process and during your follow-up care, NYU Langone doctors, nurses, social workers, and integrative health specialists support you with a variety of programs and services. 

Managing Side Effects 

Our palliative care specialists can help you manage any side effects of chemotherapy or targeted drugs. They may prescribe medications, recommend integrative therapies, or suggest an approach that combines the two. NYU Langone’s Integrative Health Services at Perlmutter Cancer Center include yoga and massage therapy, which can reduce stress, and acupuncture, which may relieve chemotherapy-related hot flashes. These therapies may be especially useful for people who have undergone a stem cell transplant.

Psychological and Social Support

Support groups and one-on-one counseling with a psycho-oncologist, a physician who specializes in treating the psychological impact of cancer, can help you cope with any depression or anxiety you may be experiencing. Social workers can help you address any financial matters or logistical issues—such as insurance billing and traveling to doctor’s appointments—that may arise during treatment. 

Overcoming Weakness and Fatigue

After an evaluation by doctors at NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation, they can prescribe a rehabilitation program that includes physical and occupational therapy. Strength training and aerobic exercise may also be used to address the weakness and fatigue caused by acute lymphoblastic leukemia or its treatment, with the goal of enhancing your independence at home and in your community.

Treating Neuropathy

Neuropathy may be a side effect of chemotherapy drugs used to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Neuropathy damages nerves and causes numbness, tingling, pain, and weakness in the hands, feet, arms, legs, or other parts of the body.

Doctors at Rusk Rehabilitation may prescribe medication to ease the discomfort of neuropathy. They can also prescribe physical therapy to help ensure that neuropathy doesn’t interfere with your balance, strength, or ability to walk and perform daily activities.

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