With recent advances, treatment for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) can often slow or stop the progression of the disease. Today, CML may be treated similarly to a chronic long-term condition. The goal is for people living with CML to have a life expectancy that’s as close to normal as possible.
Effective treatment can improve your quality of life and long-term outlook. If you receive treatment during the chronic phase of CML, your chances of obtaining remission are good. Even so, managing this chronic condition can pose challenges.
Read on to learn more about support resources that may help you cope with the challenges of living with CML.
If you’ve been diagnosed with CML, it’s important to connect with healthcare professionals who have specialized knowledge about treating the condition.
Ask your primary care doctor or community cancer center for a referral to a leukemia specialist. You can also look for leukemia specialists in your state using online databases operated by the American Society of Clinical Oncology and American Society of Hematology.
Several different factors can affect your out-of-pocket costs for treatment. The costs of your treatment depend on:
- the specific treatment you receive
- where and how often you receive treatment
- whether you have health insurance that covers some or all of your treatment
- whether you’re enrolled in financial support programs
If you’re finding it difficult to manage the costs of your care, it might help to:
- Contact your insurance provider to learn which specialists, treatment centers, and procedures are covered under your plan. There might be changes you could make to your treatment plan or insurance plan to save money.
- Speak with your doctors and other healthcare providers about your treatment plan. They might be able to adjust your prescribed treatment to lower the costs of care.
- Consult with a financial counselor or social worker at your community cancer center. They can help you learn if you’re eligible for state-sponsored insurance, medicine assistance programs, or other financial support programs.
- Contact the manufacturer of any medications that you take to learn if they operate patient discount programs. You might be eligible for subsidies or rebates.
You can find more tips and resources for managing the costs of care through these organizations:
It can be stressful to live with a chronic condition, such as CML. If you’ve been experiencing frequent feelings of stress, anxiety, anger, or grief, let your treatment team know. They may refer you to a psychologist or other mental health specialist for support.
Connecting with other people who have been diagnosed with cancer might also help you cope with the social and emotional challenges of CML. To connect with others:
- Ask your doctor or community cancer center if they know about any local support groups for people living with cancer, including leukemia.
- Check the American Cancer Society’s online database for local support groups.
- Visit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s website to look for local support groups. You can also sign up for a group chat, or access one-to-one peer support.
- Register for one of Cancer Care’s online support groups.
Several nonprofit and governmental organizations have developed online resources for people living with CML.
To find information about this condition, visit these resources:
- American Cancer Society
- American Society of Clinical Oncology
- Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
National Cancer Institute
- National CML Society
- U.S. National Library of Medicine
Your treatment team or community cancer center may also be able to share or recommend books, websites, or other resources for people with CML.
If you’re finding it difficult to manage the physical, emotional, or financial effects of living with CML, let your treatment team know. They may be able to adjust your treatment plan and connect you to local resources. Many cancer organizations also offer support online, by email, or by phone.