Leukemia & Lymphoma Society: A Valuable Resource for Patients and Caregivers
Dr. Gwen Nichols, chief medical officer of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, discusses the numerous resources and services the organization offers. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients and caregivers can take advantage of the LLS's support resources; find community with local chapters; and partake in a wide range of additional services.
Dr. Nichols: The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has been around since 1949, started by a family because they lost a child to leukemia. And this has grown to be a major research and patient care organization, an advocacy organization, over the ensuing decades.
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has been around since 1949, started by a family because they lost a child to leukemia. And this has grown to be a major research and patient care organization, an advocacy organization, over the ensuing decades.
LLS, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, has an incredible reputation for the grants that we give to researchers, and the type of research that we support. And the people that we support go on to be the leaders in the field.
Besides our very important research, we have a major patient assistance and patient access group. This includes what we call the information resource center, or the IRC. This is a free service for patients. It is staffed by professionals, social workers and nurses who are expert in areas of blood cancer.
These services are all available to patients or caregivers. And we can send you information, guide you to the right areas to get it, guide you to services that we may not have but other organizations have, and especially guide you to support groups locally and to people who can help you in your community, which I think is one of the great things about LLS, is that we have more than 50 chapters around the U.S. and Canada where you can get involved locally with people who have your disease, one-on-one with somebody who can talk to you and tell you what it's really like along with helping you with things like what questions should you ask your doctor? How do you get the right information? How do you build that relationship?
Lymphoma patients are oftentimes treated over fairly long periods of time. So, while it's really important to number one, get the diagnosis correctly at the beginning, it's also important to figure out how to live with the possibility that your lymphoma is not cured and that you may need treatment again in the future.
And I think a lot of the medical community doesn't necessarily have the time or the resources to do that the best way, so we see ourselves as physician extenders. We help do the things that maybe doctors in this amount of time that they have, don't do as well as they can, and we can help that.