Treatment for myelodysplastic syndrome?
Your question is a very good one and I will work on providing you with some information and recommendations.
As you may know there are not a lot of very good treatments for myelodysplastic syndrome. One particular treatment which has been used more frequently recently is Revlimid Which is particularly indicated in a case where a patient has a chromosomal abnormality called 5q minus. In the absence of this chromosomal abnormality this treatment will not work very well.
For many patients close observation is extremely important. Seeing a hematologist every couple of months is usually how most people are followed. If blood counts drop transfusion may be needed sometimes.
If the disease progresses there are some chemotherapy drugs which can be used to help maintain remission. Unfortunately this is not a disease which can be cured. Some patients can be followed for many many years with minimal need for treatment. Every person is unique which is why it is important that a hematologist be involved in providing care.
Thanks for sending your question. Please let me know if you have any additional specific concerns.
Initially I check blood work every 4 to 8 weeks. If blood counts are very stable I might increase the interval. If there is concern regarding a trend in decrease of any of the blood counts we might check every two or four weeks.
In the setting of infection blood counts can fluctuate significantly. After the infection is treated close monitoring would be indicated. Again this would involve periodic office visits and blood tests to again find a baseline of blood counts from which the hematologist can continue to follow.
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