Doctors will sometimes refer to certain treatments as supportive therapy or supportive care. They help you manage the symptoms of your disease, although they do not treat the underlying cause of the disease.
In general, supportive care includes the following:
- Blood transfusions to raise blood cell counts
- Antibiotics to treat infection
- Iron chelation therapy to treat iron overload, a side effect of having many red blood cell transfusions
- Growth factors that are man-made versions of natural hormones that tell your body to make more blood cells.