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What is "watch and wait"?

You have been diagnosed with an early cancer of the blood, with your doctor suggesting a “watch and wait” approach.

 

"Watch and wait" refers to a period of time, which can be anything from one to more than twenty years, when you will have no treatment for your condition but rather you will be monitored by your treating medical practitioner. This "active monitoring"  will usually be every 3-6 months.

The "watch and wait" blood cancers include monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM), early AL amyloidosis, stage 0/1chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), myelodyspasia (MDS), and early stage lymphomas. 

 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of "watch and wait"?

The main advantage of "watch and wait" is that you will not be exposed to the risks of chemotherapy or radiotherapy any sooner than is necessary - if it becomes necessary! 

The main disadvantage of "watch and wait" is that you will probably find it difficult living with the knowledge that you have your condition and waiting for it to worsen before something is actively done about it. For this reason, "watch and wait" is often referred to as "watch and worry". 

 Is there anything you can do to try improve outcome while you are on "watch and wait"?

 

The answer is Yes

 

Research is showing that an integrative approach, which includes diet, exercise and supplementation can improve your health and may improve your ability to fight the disease. 

 

Taking care of yourself and living well will promote good health in general. Recommendations for a healthier lifestyle include:

  • Take regular exercise 

  • Eat a balanced diet 

  • Maintain a healthy weight 

  • Limit alcohol intake 

  • Do not smoke 

  • Use relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga 

  • Reduce work hours if these are too demanding or stressful

  • Take time to do things you enjoy. Go for a walk, read a book

 

Aim of this website

 

This website offers a high quality educational service to patients who have been diagnosed with an early cancer of the blood.

 

The goal is to improve overall health and quality of life in order to try slow down the disease from progressing. 

 

The advice on this site does not replace conventional care, as determined by your treating specialist. 

 

It does not support dropping evidence-based treatment in favour of unproven therapies of unknown safety and effectiveness levels.

 

This site provides guidelines on how to improve nutritional status and wellbeing and what supplements to take to try and improve outcomes, based on evidence gained in our clinical studies.

 

It is hoped that the knowledge gained will empower you to adopt an integrative approach, which can be independently incorporated to try reduce fear and anxiety or “watch and worry”.

New Survey

Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast in the UK, are conducting the first large-scale survey of MGUS, Smouldering Multiple Myeloma patients and individuals with other precancerous conditions to investigate the impact of being diagnosed and living with a precancerous condition.

We are particularly interested to know more about how you feel about your MGUS, Smouldering Multiple Myeloma and the impact, if any, MGUS, Smouldering Multiple Myeloma has had on your life since diagnosis.

The findings of this study will be used to inform future healthcare service provision for individuals with precancers and will be published in a scientific peer reviewed journal.

 

To learn more about this study and to take part please click here: http://go.qub.ac.uk/QUBPIP2

 

All responses to the survey are anonymous (i.e. it will not be possible to identify you from any of the responses provided) and it should take no longer than 15-20 minutes to complete.

 

We look forward to hearing your opinions and appreciate your time and participation.

 

Thank you for helping to further our research.

Disclaimer

The information contained in this site is intended to provide helpful health information. While the site managers have exercised due care in ensuring the accuracy of the material contained on this website, the information is made available on the understanding that the site managers are not providing professional advice on a particular matter. Nothing contained in this site is intended to be used as medical advice and it is not intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for your own health professional's advice. Before relying on the material in any important matter, users should carefully evaluate its accuracy, currency, completeness and relevance for their purposes, and should obtain any appropriate professional advice relevant to their particular circumstances. In some cases the material may incorporate or summarise views, guidelines or recommendations of third parties. Such material is assembled in good faith, but does not necessarily reflect the considered views of the site managers, or indicate a commitment to a particular course of action. The site managers do not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on the information provided on this website.