Conversations doctors must have with CLL patients

Federico Caligaris-Cappio, MD of Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milan, Italy, talks about how he thinks doctors should interact with their chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients at the 2016 International Workshop of the German CLL Study Group (GCLLSG) in Cologne, Germany. Prof. Caligris-Cappio explains that he thinks it is essential for doctors to listen to the patients. It is important to talk to them and tell them about the problems and solutions but listening to them and trying to understand their fears and expectations is even more important. In that way, the strategy of treatment can be tailored for the particular patient based on the way they feel. Some fears can be lowered as doctors can explain solutions to these fears. Other fears may not be able to be lowered but have to be spoken frankly and honestly about while always giving hope. He believes that giving hope to patients is an extremely important role for doctors.

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