There are many types of thalassemia. The thalassemias are a group of inherited blood disorders in which the genes that produce hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body, are broken. As a result, the red blood cells do not contain enough hemoglobin, causing anemia that can range from mild to life-threatening.
Thalassemia can come in different forms depending on the genetic mutations causing it. The transfusion-dependent form, also called thalassemia major or Cooley's anemia, requires lifelong follow-up care and regular blood transfusions. Some other forms are more readily managed and may require little or no treatment.
At the Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Thalassemia Program, our experts provide comprehensive care for children and adults with all forms of thalassemia. Treatment for thalassemia depends on the subtype, but may include:
Find more in-depth information on thalassemia on the Dana-Farber/Boston Children's website, including answers to:
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