Myelodysplastic Syndrome

Also known as: myelodysplastic syndromes, MDS, bone marrow failure disorder.

What is myelodysplastic syndrome?

Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is referred to a group of different types of cancer. But they all impact the bone marrow and prevent it from developing mature, healthy blood cells.

Patients have low blood counts and present like Aplastic Anemia.

What causes myelodysplastic syndrome?

The exact cause is unknown. Specifically in children, it can be caused by previous radiation therapy or chemotherapy, or can be idiopathic. Children can also be born with it. The risk also increases with exposure to toxins like pesticides, fertilizer, tobacco smoke, mercury or lead.

What are the symptoms of myelodysplastic syndrome?

Myelodysplastic syndrome presents with symptoms of anemia, including fatigue, weakness, dizziness shortness of breath and pale skin. It can also present with symptoms of low platelets such as easy bruising and bleeding, and small spots on the skin from bleeding.

What are myelodysplastic syndrome care options?

Doctors can use blood transfusions or drugs to help with the symptoms and provide supportive care for people with myelodysplastic syndrome. The only cure is stem cell transplantation

Reviewed by: Kamar Godder, MD

This page was last updated on: December 17, 2020 02:54 PM

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Learn more about

Aplastic Anemia (AA)

When the bone marrow doesn’t produce enough blood cells, this condition is known as aplastic anemia. Learn more

Blood and Marrow Transplantation

The transplantation of blood or bone marrow is the procedure of transferring and replacing the hematopietic stem cells. Learn more

Blood Transfusions

A blood transfusion is when blood is infused into the body to replace missing blood. Learn more