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After you've been diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and MDS-related anemia, you may be wondering, “What now?” Thinking about the road ahead can be overwhelming, but having a better idea of what your treatment options are might help you navigate the road ahead.
There are a number of different treatment options for MDS-related anemia, and because every person is unique, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. You can talk to your healthcare team about finding a treatment plan that fits your individual needs.
What can I expect on my treatment journey?
As you start exploring treatment options for your MDS-related anemia, here are some questions you can ask your healthcare team to help you understand what to expect:
You are your own best advocate. Ask questions to make sure you understand your treatment plan and listen carefully to what your healthcare team has to say. The resources and advice they share can help you on your treatment journey.
How will my treatment journey start?
At the start of your journey, and possibly at other points along the way, you and your healthcare team may use the watch-and-wait method.
Watch-and-wait means working with your healthcare team to monitor your symptoms and bloodwork for any changes.
What to know about watch-and-wait:
What are some common treatments for MDS-related anemia?
It’s important to know your options when it comes to treating your MDS-related anemia. The right treatment option for you will depend on how anemia affects you, what treatments you’ve tried before, and what your body responds well to. Examples include:
What to know about RBC transfusions:
How RBC transfusions may affect your anemia:
What to expect over time with RBC transfusions:
Keeping track of important transfusion details like dates, RBC units, and Hgb levels and sharing them with your healthcare team will help them, help you.
What to know about ESAs:
How ESAs may affect your anemia:
What to expect over time with ESAs:
What you can do:
After 6 to 8 weeks of receiving an ESA, talk to your healthcare team about how you’re responding to treatment. The majority of people taking ESAs don’t respond to them. Tracking and sharing your symptoms, test results, and any transfusion information with your healthcare team is going to help understand if you might need to take a different treatment approach. You can talk about:
An EMA is a treatment that helps your body’s RBCs mature, which may lower or end your need for transfusions.
What to know about EMAs:
What you can do:
You can track and share your symptoms, test results, and any transfusion information with your healthcare team. When you track and share this information, your healthcare team can better understand how the EMA is working for you. Talk to your healthcare team about:
Talk to your healthcare team and ask if REBLOZYL is right for you.