The average person who receives a diagnosis of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is around 70 years old, and up to 25 percent of these people will never need treatment in their lifetimes. Two medical oncologists at NYU Langone Health’s Perlmutter Cancer Center discuss treatments for CLL, clinical trials, and more for Patient Power’s Evening with the Docs series.
Tibor Moskovits, MD, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, noted that because CLL is a slow-growing leukemia, oncologists often take a watchful waiting approach before treating the disease with chemotherapy.
“There’s no downside in not receiving any treatments, and in the meantime, I tell them to go about life as normally as possible, to take care of their health otherwise because they expect to live a long life,” Dr. Moskovits says. “So watch their weight, exercise, all the things that we usually tell our patients to live a healthy life.”
“The likelihood is that this is so slow growing that it will take 5 to 10 years before you ever need treatment,” says Bruce G. Raphael, MD, clinical professor in the Department of Medicine. “Studies have been done over and over and over again that, if you’re watched closely, you won’t get into significant trouble.”
Watch more on Patient Power’s Evening with the Docs.