Myelodysplastic Syndrome Overview

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Treating Myelodysplastic Syndrome TOPICS

Supportive treatment for myelodysplastic syndrome

For many patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), the main goal of treatment is to prevent problems from low blood counts. These patients might be very tired because of low red blood cell counts and may need to get many blood transfusions. One problem from a lot of blood transfusions is the build-up of iron in the blood. Too much iron can cause liver and heart damage. Drugs can be given to help prevent this.

MDS patients with bleeding problems caused by a shortage of platelets may be helped by platelet transfusions. Patients with low white blood cell counts might get infections which could be very serious. These infections are treated with antibiotics. A white blood cell growth factor may also be used to help raise the white blood cell count so that the body can fight the infection.

See the “To learn more about myelodysplastic syndromes” section for documents with more detailed information.

Last Medical Review: 02/27/2014
Last Revised: 04/03/2014