Healthcare professionals

Your medical team

You are likely to see a number of different people at your CLL clinic. It can be confusing to know who does what.

The multi-disciplinary team (MDT)

The team of medical specialists looking after you, known as an MDT, will vary in its membership and size, depending on where you go for your CLL care, and where you are on your CLL journey.

At diagnosis, you will be seen by a Consultant Haematologist. When you go for check-ups, you may see different members of the team. Later, if treatment starts, you will get to meet more members of the team. 

Members of the MDT are required to attend a meeting every week or fortnight to discuss the diagnosis and treatment options for the patients assigned to them.

Patients may have their cases referred to the MDT at any time when significant changes occur, and further treatment options need to be considered. The MDT will take into account your views and circumstances. The conclusions and recommendations of the MDT are shared with you at clinical appointments.

These are some of the members of an MDT:

Other specialists, such as a clinical psychologist, or a dietitian, may be available to provide advice to the MDT and additional care to patients.

Questions to ask

As you cope with your CLL and treatment, you need to have honest, open discussions with your doctor. You should feel comfortable asking about anything, no matter how small it might seem. Here are some questions you might want to ask. Nurses, social workers and other members of the treatment team may also be able to give you answers. Be sure to write down any questions you have.

Taking another person with you and/or recording your conversation, with the agreement of the person you are consulting, can be very helpful.

When told you have CLL

For many people, a diagnosis of CLL is unexpected, even a shock. Most will need time for the news to sink in before they know what questions to ask. You can request an appointment at the CLL clinic soon after hearing your diagnosis to ask questions. Here are some questions you might like to ask:

As for many patients, treatment may not be considered necessary or advisable for you at the stage of diagnosis. You will be monitored to see how your CLL is progressing. This is often referred to as “watch and wait”, however, ‘active monitoring’ or ‘medical observation’ may be better terms to use. It’s up to you!

When deciding on a treatment plan

This is a key decision for you and the team treating you. It’s reasonable for the patient to need sufficient time to discuss the relevant issues with your consultant and CLL team. Here are some questions you may wish to ask at successive appointments:

As you narrow down the options, you may want to come back for more detailed information:

When starting treatment

These are some of the concerns you may have when you are about to start treatment:

While you are on treatment

Good communication with the team treating you is vital, both to them and to you.

Be sure to raise anything which is bothering you, for instance:

After your treatment

Some key questions to ask at this stage are: