Aplastic anemia

Aplastic anemia overview

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance offers comprehensive consultations and treatments for aplastic anemia and other blood disorders.

Anemia A condition in which the number of red blood cells is below normal.

SCCA was formed, in part, to bring promising new treatments to patients faster. This means that people who have been diagnosed with aplastic anemia will find more treatment options at SCCA than might be found elsewhere, including one of many clinical studies being conducted at SCCA and its partner organizations, Fred Hutch and UW Medicine.

If your condition requires a bone marrow transplant, you should know that the Fred Hutch Bone Marrow Transplant Program at SCCA is a leader in transplants. For example, we are pioneering reduced-intensity transplants, are developing transplant options for people who have not found a matched donor, and developed a comorbidity index that predicts which people are the best candidates for transplant. These advances are making transplants an option for people who might not otherwise be considered for the procedure.

In addition, we are one of 15 centers whose transplant patients achieved higher-than-expected survival rates, according to a multi-year study by the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research. The study compared patients at more than 165 bone marrow transplant centers in the United States. We’ve performed more bone marrow transplants than any other institution in the world.

Anemia A condition in which the number of red blood cells is below normal. Bone marrow The soft, spongy material in the center of your bones that produces all your blood cells, such as white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. Bone marrow transplant The process of treating disease with high doses of chemotherapy, radiation therapy or both. Bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells are given after treatment to help the body make more blood cells. The process of treating disease with high doses of chemotherapy, radiation therapy or both. Because this treatment destroys the bone marrow’s ability to produce blood cells, bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells are given after treatment to help the body make more blood cells.

Facts

In aplastic anemia,  the bone marrow stops producing new blood cells at the same rate resulting in deficits of all blood cell types. White blood cells fight germs and platelets help blood clot. Without these, the body is at risk for infection and uncontrolled bleeding.

Treatment

Aplastic anemia can be mild, moderate, or severe. Mild or moderate aplastic anemia is serious but usually doesn't require hospitalization and may be treated with

  • Blood transfusions and/or medications
  • Immunosuppressive drugs
  • Growth factors
Anemia A condition in which the number of red blood cells is below normal.

Providers

At SCCA, you receive care from a team of providers with extensive experience in your disease. Your team includes physicians, a patient care coordinator, a registered nurse, an advanced practice provider and others, based on your needs. You also have access to experts like nutritionists, social workers, acupuncturists, psychiatrists and more who specialize in supporting people with cancer or blood disorders.

Resources

There are many resources online for learning about your disease, as well as organizations that provide community and support for your cancer diagnosis. Health educators at the SCCA Patient and Family Resource Center have compiled a list of trusted sources to help you get started.