Fear of treatment side effects is common after a diagnosis of aplastic anemia, MDS or PNH but preventing and controlling side effects is a major focus of your child’s health care team and it is an important part of the overall treatment plan.
Talk with your child’s healthcare team about common side effects of the different treatment options. Ask about potential short-term and long-term side effects of each treatment. Side effects will depend on a variety of factors, including the diagnosis, the length and dosage of treatment(s), and your child’s overall health. Your child’s healthcare team will be able to give you tips on how to manage side effects.
Before treatment begins, talk with your child’s doctor about possible side effects of each type of treatment your child will be receiving. Ask which side effects are most likely to happen, when they are likely to occur, and what can be done to prevent or relieve them. And, ask about the level of caregiving your child may need during treatment and recovery.
In addition to physical side effects, there may be emotional and social effects as well. Patients and their families are encouraged to share their feelings with a member of their health care team who can help with coping strategies. Support groups are often helpful in helping families cope with the illness of a family member
During and after treatment, be sure to tell the healthcare team about all side effects your child experiences, even if you feel they are not serious. Sometimes, side effects can last beyond the treatment period, known as a long-term side effect. A side effect that occurs months or years after treatment is called a late side effect. Treatment of both types is an important part of survivorship care. Talk with your child’s health care team about developing a survivorship plan.