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Treatments for Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS)

The content below is part of the “Health Library” and is not indicative of services available at the facility.

Overall, treatment for MDS is focused on destroying cancer cells and slowing disease progression. A stem cell transplant is considered the only way to cure MDS, but it may not work for everyone. Chemo- and radiation therapies may be used to help manage symptoms or in conjunction with stem cell transplant to clear the body of any cancer cells.

If MDS is found in later stages, treatment will focus on supportive care to ease symptoms. These steps will extend life and improve quality of life. These treatment may also slow the progression of certain MDS to acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Supportive care generally includes blood transfusions and medications to boost blood cell counts into a normal range.

The healthcare team will be made up of a variety of health professionals including doctors, surgeons, nurses, and pharmacists. It is important to maintain contact with your medical team, adhere to recommended treatment, and go to any recommended appointments for best outcomes possible.

MDS treatment may include:

ChemotherapyLifestyle changesManaging side effects (supportive care)Other treatments

Research studies help to determine whether or not new treatments are both safe and effective. If current treatment is not effective for your type of cancer you may wish to ask your doctor if you should consider participating in a clinical trial. You can find out about clinical trials at the US National Institutes of Health website.

Revision Information

  • Myelodysplastic syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114054/Myelodysplastic-syndrome-MDS. Updated January 13, 2017. Accessed June 30, 2017.

  • Myelodysplastic syndrome. Merck Manual Professional Version website Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/hematology-and-oncology/leukemias/myelodysplastic-syndrome. Updated January 2017. Accessed June 30, 2017.

  • Treating myelodysplastic syndromes. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/myelodysplastic-syndrome/treating.html. Accessed June 30, 2017.

  • Treatment option overview. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/myeloproliferative/patient/myelodysplastic-treatment-pdq#section/%5F49. Updated August 12, 2015. Accessed June 30, 2017.

The health information in this Health Library is provided by a third party. Cartersville Medical Center does not in any way create the content of this information. It is provided solely for informational purposes. It does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for proper medical care provided by a physician. Always consult with your doctor for appropriate examinations, treatment, testing, and care recommendations. Do not rely on information on this site as a tool for self-diagnosis. If you have a medical emergency, call 911.