What is MDS?
Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) consists of multiple disorders in which your body no longer creates enough healthy blood cells. The process of making blood cells is called hematopoiesis and occurs in the bone marrow. The bone marrow contains blood-forming stem cells that can mature into 3 types of blood cells. Once the blood cells are fully mature and functional, they leave the bone marrow and enter the bloodstream. The 3 basic types of blood cells are:
Red blood cells (erythrocytes): make up half of blood cells and contain a protein called hemoglobin that picks up oxygen in the lungs
White blood cells (leukocytes): fight disease and infection caused by foreign invaders.
Platelets (thrombocytes): helps blood clot and stop bleeding
MDS develops because the bone marrow cells do not develop into mature blood cells and remain in an immature state. There are many subtypes of MDS, some cases are mild while others can be more severe.
The exact cause of myelodysplastic syndromes is often unknown, however it is linked to DNA damage or mutation in hematopoietic stem cells.
TREATMENT APPROACHES FOR MDS
This list is intended for informational purposes. Please talk to your doctor about your treatment options as they may differ from this list.
Treatment can vary from bone marrow transplant, blood transfusions, erythropoiesis-stimulating agents, or chemotherapy.