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Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)

If you are diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), it’s important to get your care from an experienced hematologist-oncologist who can work with you to create a treatment plan, and coordinate your care throughout your entire treatment.

Because AML progresses rapidly, most people diagnosed with AML will need treatment soon after diagnosis. That’s why it is important to get to a team of experienced cancer specialists who have access to the latest diagnostic tools, treatments and clinical research.

Below are some questions to ask your doctor about AML:

Questions About Your Cancer Team

  • What is your experience in treating people with AML?
  • Who else will be on my treatment team?

Questions About Diagnosis

  • What is my white blood cell counts?
  • What other diagnostic tests will I need?
  • What is the subtype of the AML?
  • Are AML cells present anywhere else in my body?

Questions About Your Treatment

  • What are my treatment options? 
  • Where will I get my care?
  • What are the treatment side effects?
    • Long-term
    • Short-term
  • Are there any complications from treatment?
  • Will I need a bone marrow or stem cell transplant? 
  • Will treatment for my cancer affect my ability to have children?
  • What are the expected outcomes form my treatment? 
  • What is the prognosis for relapse?
  • Am I eligible for a clinical trial?
  • What support resources are available to me?
  • Are there any complementary therapies I can do while receiving cancer treatment?

Questions About Second Opinions

Due to the nature of AML and its rapid progression, getting a second opinion may not always be an option. However, hematologist-oncologists at the Abramson Cancer Center try to see patients with AML as soon as possible. For a second opinion, call 800-789-7366 (PENN).

In addition to the questions above, here are some questions you may want to ask if you are getting a second opinion:

  • What labs/test results will I need to get a second opinion? 
  • Can you help coordinate my care close to home?
  • How will you work with my primary care physician and/or care team?