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”.
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.