Next Steps

Have questions? Want to learn more? Here are additional tools and resources for before, during and after treatment.

Questions for physician

  1. What kind of tests will you be using to measure my disease during and after treatment?

    Why Ask? The tests used to measure your disease will depend on your specific type of blood cancer, and each one will give you and your doctor different information. For some tests there may be a choice among different techniques that require different specimen types (e.g., blood, urine, bone marrow) or utilize different methodologies (e.g., imaging versus blood test).

  2. How often will you be doing these tests?

    Why Ask? The frequency with which your doctor orders different tests will depend on your type of blood cancer. Your doctor might use some tests after you have completed treatment to evaluate your response, which may help guide next steps and treatment decisions. Your doctor may also have you undergo testing every few months to monitor disease levels in the hopes of detecting relapse early.

  3. What is the goal? What level of response to treatment are we aiming for?

    Why Ask? Your doctor will probably have a specific goal for your treatment. In some blood cancers that might mean aiming for no detectable disease. In other blood cancers, low levels of detectable disease might be OK and your doctor will adopt a “watch and wait” approach until you display symptoms.

  4. Will minimal residual disease (MRD) testing be part of my treatment plan? Why or why not?

    Why Ask? For some cancers, minimal residual disease testing is widely accepted as part of clinical care. For other cancers, it has only recently begun to be incorporated into doctors’ treatment toolkits. No matter what your situation is, it is important that you and your doctor are on the same page about how you will be evaluated.

  5. How will the results of various tests impact decisions about my treatment?

    Why Ask? You are unique and so is your disease. Your doctor will assess the results of each type of test on an individual basis to determine how they could impact decisions about which types of therapies you might receive and when.