NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Myelodysplastic Syndromes

49 NCCN Guidelines for Patients ® : Myelodysplastic Syndromes, 2018 If tests don’t show a response, or show a relapse, there are two more options to choose from. The first option is to join a clinical trial. The second option is to receive supportive care only. If you had treatment within a clinical trial, and the drug didn’t work or stopped working, there are two more options to choose from. The first option is to receive a different drug or type of treatment within a clinical trial. The second option is to receive supportive care only. Treatment for anemia Guide 10 shows the initial steps to assess and care for anemia. MDS is not the only health condition that can cause anemia. A number of other factors can cause anemia. Thus, it is important to check for any other health problems that might be causing a low number of red blood cells. The tests doctors use to assess anemia are described in Part 2 on page 15. Iron, folate, and vitamin B12 are nutrients in the body that are needed to make red blood cells. A shortage of any one of these substances can cause anemia. Thus, your doctor will want to know if you have the right amount of these nutrients. If any are low, treatment with vitamin supplements may help. Red blood cell transfusions are the standard of care for patients with anemia that is causing symptoms. A red blood cell transfusion is a slow injection of red blood cells into a vein. This can help relieve anemia symptoms quickly. But, this relief may only last for a few months. More transfusions may be needed over time. You should also receive other supportive care as needed. (See page 28 for more details about supportive care.) Next steps  See Guide 11 on page 50 for treatment options for MDS-related anemia. 5 Treatment guide Treatment for anemia Guide 10. Initial care for anemia First steps of care • Rule out and treat other possible causes of anemia • Replace iron, folate, or vitamin B12 if needed • Red blood cell transfusions • Supportive care

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