Myelodysplastic syndrome is a disorder which is caused when the blood forming cells fail to work as expected. This condition occurs when something problem occurs in the bone marrow, which is present inside the bones and is responsible for producing blood cells. Treatment procedure for myelodysplastic syndrome is directed towards correcting the abnormal behavior of bone marrow and also preventing the various complications that are associated with it. In some severe cases, doctor may recommend chemotherapy or even transplantation of bone marrow.Can You Be Cured Of Myelodysplastic Syndrome?
Treatment for myelodysplastic syndromes focus on reducing the progression of the disease and also overcoming the symptoms like fatigue, infections and frequent bleeding from gums or nose. For patients who do not experience significant symptoms, doctors keep an eye on the progression along with proper examination (when required).
After identifying the progression of the problem it becomes easy to decide the treatment procedure.(1)
Blood transfusion is a process in which the blood cells, both red blood cells and white blood cells or platelets in patients suffering from myelodysplastic syndrome are replaced.
Medications that are prescribed to patients suffering from myelodysplastic syndrome are:
The one that considerably increases the count of blood cells body produces. These medications are artificial substitutes of natural substance found in bone marrow. In simple words they are known as growth factors. Some of the effective growth factors like Aranesp or epoetin alfa increases the number of red blood cells, thus; eliminate the need for undergoing blood transfusions. Other medications, such as filgrastim is helpful in preventing chance of getting infection by increasing the count for white blood cells.
Medications like decitabine and azacitidine helps in making the life of patients suffering from myelodysplastic syndrome smooth by drastically reducing the risk for developing acute myelogenous leukemia.
Medications that successful suppress the immune system of the body. These medications are very effective for treating certain type of myelodysplastic syndromes by eliminating the need for undergoing transfusions of red blood cells.
At times, the problem of patient is genetic, hence; doctors prescribe lenalidomide to patients suffering from myelodysplastic syndrome because of gene mutation.
If the problem is causing infections, then doctors prescribe antibiotics to the patients.
Bone Marrow Transplant
For performing bone marrow transplant which is also known as stem cell transplant, doctors use high dose of chemotherapy medications for removing the infected blood cells from the bone marrow. After the infected cells are removed, healthy bone marrow stem cell from donated cells is transplanted in the patient’s body. These days, the latest medical techniques make use of comparative less toxic chemotherapy than was used in the older days. However, bone marrow transplant has various side effect associated.
This is one of the major reasons why majority of people suffering from myelodysplastic syndrome prefer to opt for stem cell bone marrow transplant.
Along with the medication and treatment, doctors also suggest patients to adopt some simple but effective lifestyle changes. This will help patients to lead a comfortable life in the long run.(2)
Myelodysplastic Syndrome Diagnosis
Doctors perform physical examination, ask for medical history and if suspect myelodysplastic syndrome then prescribes to undergo few tests to confirm. Some of these tests include:
Blood Test– Blood test is one of the most effective and primary test to know about the number of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Further blood test also confirm the look of the cells like their shape, size etc.
Bone Marrow Test– While performing bone marrow aspiration, a fine needle like structure is used for removing little amount of bone marrow sample for testing. This sample is then sent to lab for identifying different abnormalities.
After the test confirm that the patient is suffering from myelodysplastic syndrome then either the doctor start with the treatment procedure or refer the patient to a specialist for further treatment.(2)
- What is Myelodysplastic Syndrome: Causes, Types, Signs, Symptoms
- Myelodysplastic Syndromes: Staging, Risk Factors, Complications, Diagnosis
- Myelodysplastic Syndromes Treatments: Chemotherapy, Immunotherapy, Bone Marrow Transplant
- Myelodysplastic Syndromes or MDS: Treatment for Side Effects, Children with MDS
- Myelodysplastic Syndromes: Survival Rates, Prognosis, Recurrence, Remission, Lifestyle Changes, Prevention
- Coping with Myelodysplastic Syndromes & its Follow-Up Care