If you or someone you know has recently been diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), you’re probably thinking hard about what to do next. Educating yourself and understanding the various treatment options that are explained on these pages is a good start. However, your most important decision is selecting where to get treatment.
Choosing Your Treatment Center
Myelodysplastic syndrome is not a single disease—it’s a collection of diseases. Through ongoing research, we are working to better understand the underlying mechanisms for the various subtypes and the treatment options best suited for each.
At Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) our patients receive state-of-the-art evaluation, including new research tools to pinpoint your diagnosis and determine where you are in the spectrum of MDS.
You will be seen by a doctor called a hematologist whose area of expertise is MDS. Your doctor will explain your diagnosis and prognosis and will talk with you about your treatment options. Along with your doctor, your care team will include nurses, social workers, and people to provide psychological support and other forms of support for you and your family.
Research shows that many patients with MDS who do not receive care at a center— like SCCA—that specializes in MDS are not made aware of their prognosis and are not properly informed about the effectiveness of different treatment approaches. We strive to make sure you understand your condition and what to expect.
In addition to working with people whose disease was just found, we also treat many patients who began treatment for MDS elsewhere and then chose to come to SCCA for their ongoing care.
Your Long-Range Management Plan
Once your diagnosis is established, it’s important to develop an individualized long-range management plan. This means considering everything medical science has to offer you and determining how the various options should be used in your particular situation—including the optimum time to use each option. Your plan should also reflect how your disease is likely to progress, how your health care team will monitor disease progression, and what can be done if your disease reaches an advanced stage, when more aggressive treatment might be indicated.
At SCCA, you can expect expertly delivered care as well as access to therapies being explored in clinical studies.
We view treatment as a collaborative effort. Your doctors will discuss all options with you and offer you a plan for the long-range management of your specific disease. Your plan will be tailored to you and take into account your general health, lifestyle, and personal preferences.