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Mike asked...

How long can I survive on blood transfusions?

I am a 61 year old male. I have been diagnosed with MDS, I also carry the Hepititus C virus. I have hypotension which is under control with medication.

I have not been treated for type 2 diabetes, because of the more pressing health issues like the MDS. I was on a chemo-therapy regimen of Vidaza infusions for the past year. I was told by my hematologist that I responded to this chemo but to get longer lasting positive results I was put on a 2 month regimen of Revlimid.

Around the end of the 9th month of chemo I started requiring blood transfusions at increasing frequency. It is now February 7 and I received 2 units of whole blood on 2/4: I am scheduled to get 2 units of blood today. These transfusions are due to hemoglobin levels around 6.7 to 7.1. I am not a candidate for stem cell or marrow transplantation.

How long can I survive on blood transfusions?

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The answer

I am so sorry that I am not able to answer your question. The best person to ask this type of difficult question is the consultant who is treating you. They will have the experience of treating other patients in a similar situation as you. Have you not felt able to ask your consultant yet? Perhaps you have asked already but you were not given an answer.

Prognosis is never an easy question to answer for doctors, because every individual patient is different and responds in slightly different ways to treatment. There is an MDS UK Patient Support Group that you could contact to find out more (details are found via the Macmillan cancer support website).

Answered by Dr Emmajane Down.


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