It's important that your doctor is experienced in treating MDS patients or works in consultation with a hematologist oncologist who has experience treating MDS patients.
Finding the Best Treatment Approach
The treatment your doctor recommends is based on several factors, including:
- whether you're in the low-risk or high-risk category
- your disease subtype
- your overall health
- other health conditions you may have, called comorbidities, such as heart disease, kidney disease, lung disease or diabetes
The goals of MDS treatment for low-risk patients are to:
- manage the disease by reducing blood transfusion needs
- decrease infection risk
The goal of MDS treatment for high-risk patients is to achieve and stay in remission or cure the disease. The only therapy used that can potentially cure MDS is allogeneic stem cell transplantation.
Your treatment options also depend on whether you're being treated for MDS that:
- hasn't responded to initial therapy
- has returned (relapsed)
As you develop a treatment plan with your doctor, be sure to discuss:
the results you can expect from treatment
the possibility of participating in a clinical trial, where you'll have access to advanced medical treatment that may be more beneficial to you than standard treatment
Other Treatment Considerations
- If you're age 60 or older - like most people with MDS - your treatment may vary from standard approaches. For instance, your body may not be able to tolerate toxic chemotherapy drugs or you may have other ailments that are more common as we age. These factors, among others, may make choosing a treatment more complicated.
- If your child is being treated for MDS, therapy may differ from that of the average adult. See Childhood MDS.