Newly Diagnosed Leukemia Patients

Who Leads the Leukemia Treatment Team?

When you received an abnormal complete blood count (CBC) test result, your primary care physician most likely recommended you see a hematologist. These blood specialists are also oncologists who treat cancer. If you receive a diagnosis of leukemia, the hematologist will usually serve as the lead of your treatment team.

Along with the hematologist/oncologist, you may also meet with other physicians involved in your treatment process, such as a surgeon or radiation oncologist. Additionally, your care team may include oncology nurses, physician assistants, nutritionists, and social workers, who will work together to provide the best care possible.

Find a Hematologist in Portland, Oregon

What Is the Extent of My Leukemia?

Most people think about cancer in stages based on the size of the tumor. The process of staging leukemia is different since it doesn’t produce a tumor. Instead, the various stages of leukemia are typically identified by the count of blood cells and the presence of leukemia cells in other parts of the body. Each subtype of leukemia has a customized staging system tailored to the specific leukemia.

leukemia treatment options at compass oncology

Which Leukemia Treatments Will I Receive?

Some types of leukemia grow slowly, called chronic leukemia. While other types are more aggressive and grow quickly. Chronic leukemias may be able to delay treatment until symptoms appear or become more severe. For more aggressive types of leukemia, immediate treatments are more likely.

Several treatment options are available to leukemia patients, including chemotherapy, targeted therapy, biological therapy, also referred to as immunotherapy, radiation therapy, and bone marrow transplant. Patients may receive one or a combination of treatment methods. 

Should I Get a Second Opinion?

Feeling confident about your leukemia diagnosis and treatment plan is important. Our hematologists/oncologists provide second opinions on blood cancer diagnoses and treatment plans. Some insurance companies will cover a second opinion assessment, but contacting your insurance provider to verify coverage is still a good idea.

To schedule a second opinion with one of our leukemia doctors, please request an appointment at the Compass Oncology location that is most convenient for you. 

Are Clinical Trials an Option for Leukemia?

Through Sarah Cannon Research Institute (SCRI), a joint venture with US Oncology Research, the hematologists at Compass Oncology can offer clinical trials to patients who qualify, giving our patients access to the latest treatment options. Research trials are available at our locations throughout the Portland-Vancouver area.

Talk to your leukemia specialist to determine if a clinical trial is right for you.

What to Expect After a Leukemia Diagnosis

If you have been diagnosed with leukemia by your hematologist, you will likely need to schedule another appointment to discuss a recommended treatment plan. Before that appointment, you may have several additional medical tests performed so that the stage can be determined before recommending treatments.

We recommend bringing a supportive relative or friend to this appointment to ask questions on your behalf as needed and ensure you get all the critical details. For more information, read our recommendations for your first visit to Compass Oncology.

Here are some valuable tips when meeting with your blood cancer specialist.

Keep a Notebook

To help you stay organized, get a notebook to take notes during each appointment. A dedicated notebook will help you record important information like your current health status, medications or supplements, and any questions, thoughts, or observations regarding appointments and procedures. Remember to date each entry in your notebook.

If something other than paper works better for you, commit to using it. Having information written down and easily accessible can help you communicate better with your doctors.

Questions to Ask Your Specialist

Here are some questions you may want  to ask when meeting your hematologist: 

  • What type of leukemia do I have? Acute or chronic?    
  • What types of cancer treatment(s) do you recommend?
  • How soon do I need to start treatment? 
  • How long will treatment last?
  • Is a bone marrow transplant necessary? 
  • What are the possible side effects of treatment? Is there anything I can do to minimize or manage them? 
  • In what ways will treatment affect my daily life? Do I need to make personal adjustments? 
  • Is a clinical trial an option for me?  
  • What support services are available to me? To my family?
  • Who is my primary contact for questions or problems?
  • How soon do I have to make a treatment decision?
  • I’m worried about managing the costs of cancer treatment. Do you offer financial assistance?

Resources for Leukemia: You Are Not Alone

During this challenging time, the cancer specialists at Compass Oncology are available to help you at every step of your leukemia journey. We are here to answer any questions and connect you with the necessary resources. Remember, many people can help you with your cancer treatment.

Blood Cancer Specialists in Portland-Vancouver

We provide the latest leukemia treatments to patients at all our cancer centers in the region. Choose one that's convenient for you to request a consultation. 

East Office

5050 NE Hoyt St., Suite 256, Portland, OR 97213 Near Providence Hospital

(503) 239-7767

Rose Quarter Cancer Center

265 N Broadway
Portland, OR 97227

(503) 280-1223

Vancouver Cancer Center

210 SE 136th Avenue,
Vancouver, WA 98684

(360) 944-9889

West Cancer Center

12123 SW 69th Avenue,
Tigard, OR 97223

(971) 708-7600