Chronic lymphocytic leukemia

You are here: 

Watchful waiting for chronic lymphocytic leukemia

If you have chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) but don’t have any symptoms, you may be offered watchful waiting (also called active surveillance). This means that your healthcare team watches your cancer closely rather than giving treatment right away. They will use tests and exams to check if CLL is progressing or your condition is getting worse. Treatment is given when you develop symptoms or the cancer changes.

This approach helps avoid problems or side effects that can happen with treatments such as chemotherapy or biological therapy. There isn’t any evidence so far that watchful waiting reduces long-term survival or has other negative effects if or when you start treatment.

Stories

Gordie Gosse I never want anyone else to go through what I have been through.

Read Gordie's story

Making progress in the cancer fight

Icon - arrow

The 5-year cancer survival rate has increased from 25% in the 1940s to 60% today.

Learn more