Normal Lifestyle May Continue for Most Patients During CML Treatment

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As most adverse effects of chronic myeloid leukemia treatment are manageable, patients with the disease may be able to continue their normal lifestyle while receiving therapy.

Most patients can expect to continue their normal lifestyle while undergoing treatment for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), as the majority of adverse effects are manageable and may improve over time, an expert explained.

During the 2024 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting, Jorge E. Cortes, MD, director of the Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University, discussed adverse effects for CML and how patients can work with their care team to manage them. For example, there may be a dietary change or medication to treat diarrhea, and sometimes, it may be beneficial to change the drugs patients are taking entirely to improve quality of life.

Transcript:

For most patients, they are able to continue their normal lifestyle. [But] there's no question that there's going to be some changes. You know, for one, there's some basics on testing, taking the pill [prescribed to treat CML].

Many patients experience some adverse events. Early on, we see more of these adverse events. Over time, they tend to improve. Many of them — not always — but many of them do improve. Sometimes they disappear, sometimes at least they get better. But I think that for most patients, they're able to continue their activities of daily living, work, play family, all of that.

But there are some patients who have more limitations; the fatigue is more than expected, where they have chronic diarrhea or things like that. Always it's important to know that we can manage many of these things [but] not all of them. … If you have diarrhea, is there a dietary intervention or medication [you] can take etc. Or others or are you manage by changing drugs, you know that as the alternative? In other instances, it's you know [the side effects] are there and even the change is; how can I optimize at least or minimize the impact in my in my quality of life?

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