New Study Explores How CLL Affects Daily Life, Finances and Relationships

December 9, 2017

Atlanta, Georgia - The Cancer Support Community (CSC) announced today at the 2017 ASH (American Society of Hematology) Annual Meeting and Exposition the results of a study of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) survivors as part of its Cancer Experience Registry. The study explores how CLL affects daily life, finances and relationships. It also examines the association between quality of life and CLL course of treatment.

“This study is an important first step into understanding the challenges and concerns specific to CLL patients and the psychosocial consequences of being diagnosed with CLL,” said Linda House, CSC president.

Well over half of respondents (62 percent) indicated that CLL “somewhat to very much” affected their views on life expectancy. Also noted were concerns about quality of life (41 percent), finances (40 percent), ability to work (34 percent), and relationships with friends and family (26 percent).

Over one-fifth (21percent) of CLL survivors reported experiencing substantial levels of anxiety and fatigue as compared to the general US population. Of note, worse anxiety was significantly associated with active treatment, whether it was the first line of therapy or subsequent therapy, even after controlling for the effects of age, gender, education, and income. Interestingly, poorer quality of life outcomes were not related to being in active surveillance (“watch and wait”) treatment.

“These findings highlight the importance of examining changes in quality of life and distress throughout the cancer experience and that psychosocial services, like those offered through CSC, play a vital role in supporting patients and survivors who have these symptoms and concerns,” said Alexandra Zaleta, PhD, CSC Senior Director of Research.

The poster will be formally presented on Saturday, December 9 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the ASH (American Society of Hematology) Annual Meeting and Exposition. The full poster as presented at the Meeting is available online here.