Our 24/7 cancer helpline provides information and answers for people dealing with cancer. We can connect you with trained cancer information specialists who will answer questions about a cancer diagnosis and provide guidance and a compassionate ear.
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Our highly trained specialists are available 24/7 via phone and on weekdays can assist through video calls and online chat. We connect patients, caregivers, and family members with essential services and resources at every step of their cancer journey. Ask us how you can get involved and support the fight against cancer. Some of the topics we can assist with include:
Referrals to patient-related programs or resources
Donations, website, or event-related assistance
For medical questions, we encourage you to review our information with your doctor.
It is important to have open and honest discussions with your cancer care team about your myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). You should feel free to ask any question, no matter how minor it might seem. For instance, consider these questions:
When you’re told you have MDS
How sure are you about the diagnosis of MDS?
Can you explain what MDS is? How is it different from leukemia?
Do I need any other tests before we can decide on treatment?
Which treatment, if any, do you recommend, and why?
Should I get a second opinion before starting treatment? Can you suggest a doctor or cancer center?
What should I do to be ready for treatment?
How long will treatment last? What will it be like? Where will it be done?
What are the risks or side effects of the treatments that you recommend? How long are they likely to last?
Will treatment affect my daily activities?
What is the outlook for my survival?
During and after treatment
Once treatment begins, you’ll need to know what to expect and what to look for. Not all of these questions may apply to you, but getting answers to the ones that do may be helpful.
How will we know if the treatment is working?
What type of follow-up will I need during and after treatment?
Is there anything I can do to help manage side effects?
What symptoms or side effects should I tell you about right away?
How can I reach you on nights, holidays, or weekends?
Do I need to change what I eat during treatment?
Are there any limits on what I can do?
Should I exercise? What should I do, and how often?
Can you suggest a mental health professional I can see if I start to feel overwhelmed, depressed, or distressed?
What would my options be if the treatment isn’t working?
Where can I find more information and support?
Along with these sample questions, be sure to write down any others you want to ask. For instance, you might want information about recovery times so that you can plan your work or activity schedule. Or you might want to ask about clinical trials that might be right for you.
Keep in mind that doctors aren’t the only ones who can give you information. Other health care professionals, such as nurses and social workers, can answer some of your questions. To learn more about speaking with your health care team, see Talking With Your Doctor.