Once MDS treatment is finished, blood count checks and physical exams need to be performed on a regular basis to tell when treatment needs to be resumed. Treatment must begin again when blood counts decrease and/or bone marrow counts rise to dangerous levels. From time to time, bone marrow biopsy and aspirates should be given in addition to blood tests to see if the MDS is getting worse in a person who is not receiving treatment.
Medical treatments for hematologic malignancies can decrease a patient’s strength and endurance and increase fatigue. Patients may find it difficult to complete basic daily activities, such as taking a shower or getting dressed. Walking or maintaining an active lifestyle may become a burden.
Memorial Sloan Kettering’s physical and occupational therapists are knowledgeable about the medical treatments provided to patients with hematologic malignancies. They can help patients combat the side effects of treatment and of cancer by teaching them specific therapeutic exercises and energy-conservation techniques aimed at maintaining strength and endurance while decreasing fatigue in everyday life.
See Rehabilitation for further information about our services, including appointment information.
Help for Older Patients
A diagnosis of cancer is difficult at any age, but older patients face unique challenges. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is committed to providing cancer patients aged 65 and older with the treatment, facilities, and support they need. This is especially important for people with MDS, since the average age of people with MDS is between 65 and 70 years of age.
Memorial Sloan Kettering offers the services of a multidisciplinary geriatric team, which includes physicians, clinical nurse specialists, social workers, nutritionists, and psychiatrists, as well as members of the Palliative Medicine Service and the Integrative Medicine Service. The programs and care the team provides focus on the needs of elderly cancer patients.
For more information about our services for older patients as well as for their family and friends, visit Help for Older Patients.
Integrative Medicine Service
The goal of our Integrative Medicine Service is to enhance cancer patients’ quality of life through healing regimens that address the body, mind, and spirit. Beneficial complementary therapies include various types of massage, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, meditation, visualization and other mind-body therapies, music therapy, and nutritional counseling, as well as classes such as yoga, t’ai chi, and chair aerobics. Learn more about Integrative Medicine.
Counseling Center & Other Support Services
At Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, we have learned that some people benefit from one-on-one counseling for issues that may be complicating their ability to adjust to MDS and its treatment. The Memorial Sloan Kettering Counseling Center offers this form of counseling. We also offer services to help people with their physical, spiritual, emotional, and practical concerns. For more information, visit Support Services
Access Information through Our Patient Portal
Memorial Sloan Kettering offers a secure website — called MYMSKCC — for patients to access personalized information about their care. If you enroll to use MYMSKCC, you can view, confirm, and keep track of appointments; access over 300 lab results; make changes to contact and insurance information; communicate with your healthcare team and other staff using secure electronic messages; and pay bills and view balances. Learn more about MYMSKCC.
To enroll in MYMSKCC, please ask a session assistant in clinic or contact your physician’s office.