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

Morgan Smith Even though we are high school students, we were able to raise so much money for the Canadian Cancer Society. It just goes to show what can happen when a small group of people come together for a great cause.

Read Morgan's story

How can you stop cancer before it starts?

It's My Life! icon

Discover how your lifestyle choices can affect cancer risk and how you can take action with our interactive tool – It’s My Life!

Learn more