A Part of the University of Maryland Medical Center

Connect with UMGCC
Facebook Twitter YouTube Blog iPhone
Email PageEmail page Print PagePrint page

Myelodysplastic Syndromes Treatment

General Information About Myelodysplastic Syndromes

 

Ask the Expert

Dr. Baer’s Bio Image

Get answers to your Myelodysplastic Syndromes questions.

Dr. Baer’s Bio | Q&A Archive

Note: This is for informational purposes only. Doctors cannot provide a diagnosis or individual treatment advice via e-mail. Please consult your physician about your specific health care concerns.

Related Content


 

Myelodysplastic syndromes are a group of diseases in which the bone marrow does not make enough healthy blood cells.

Myelodysplastic syndromes are diseases of the blood and bone marrow. Normally, the bone marrow makes blood stem cells (immature cells) that develop into mature blood cells over time. A blood stem cell may become a myeloid stem cell or a lymphoid stem cell. The lymphoid stem cell develops into a white blood cell. The myeloid stem cell develops into one of three types of mature blood cells:


Blood cell development. A blood stem cell goes through several steps to become a red blood cell, platelet, or white blood cell.
Blood cell development. A blood stem cell goes through several steps to become a red blood cell, platelet, or white blood cell.

In myelodysplastic syndromes, the blood stem cells do not mature into healthy red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets. The immature blood cells, called blasts, do not function normally and either die in the bone marrow or soon after they enter the blood. This leaves less room for healthy white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets to develop in the bone marrow. When there are fewer blood cells, infection, anemia, or easy bleeding may occur.

There are several types of myelodysplastic syndromes.

Myelodysplastic syndromes have too few of one or more types of healthy blood cells in the bone marrow or blood. Myelodysplastic syndromes include the following diseases:

See the following PDQ summaries for information about other blood cell diseases:

Age and past treatment with chemotherapy or radiation therapy affect the risk of developing a myelodysplastic syndrome.

Anything that increases your risk of getting a disease is called a risk factor. Having a risk factor does not mean that you will get a disease; not having risk factors doesn’t mean that you will not get a disease. People who think they may be at risk should discuss this with their doctor. Risk factors for myelodysplastic syndromes include the following:

Possible signs of myelodysplastic syndrome include feeling tired and shortness of breath.

Myelodysplastic syndromes often do not cause early symptoms and are sometimes found during a routine blood test. Other conditions may cause the same symptoms. A doctor should be consulted if any of the following problems occur:

Tests that examine the blood and bone marrow are used to detect (find) and diagnose myelodysplastic syndromes.

The following tests and procedures may be used:

Myelodysplastic syndromes are diagnosed based on certain changes in the blood cells and bone marrow.

Certain factors affect prognosis and treatment options.

The prognosis depends on the following:

Treatment options depend on the following: