Once your MDS is in remission or under control, you'll need to visit your doctor for regular follow-up care. He or she monitors your health and looks for signs that you may need more treatment.
Your doctor will let you know how often you need physical exams and blood tests to check your blood cell counts. He or she will screen you for recurrence and the development of a secondary cancer. This may include marrow tests to detect cancerous cells.
Not everyone suffers from long-term and late effects of treatment, but for some patients the effects can range from mild to severe. Your risk for developing long-term or late effects can be influenced by:
- your treatment type and duration
- your age at the time of treatment
- your gender
- your overall health
Coordination between your doctor and an MDS specialist is important so you can get the best care possible.
If you continue to show no signs of MDS and long-term or late effects, your doctor may suggest longer periods between visits.
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) produces Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology for most cancers, which many doctors follow. Their guidelines are among the most comprehensive and most frequently updated clinical practice guidelines available in any area of medicine. You can download guidelines at the NCCN website for helpful information about MDS to discuss with your doctor.
Some treatment centers have comprehensive follow-up care clinics for cancer survivors. To find a long-term survival clinic near you, visit The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship.