What is Myelodysplastic Syndrome?

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With thousands of cases reported each year, the disease is more common in men than in women.

Persons with this affliction have blood cells in their bone marrow which do not develop into functioning ones. Some of the blood cells may even die in the marrow, resulting in decreasing amounts of blood cells in the blood. The remaining functioning blood cells will not be enough to handle what the body needs them to do. Some of the symptoms that patients show are infections, tiredness, anemia, bruises and/or bleeding - all results of low levels of functioning blood cells. Without platelets to form blood clots, the smallest wound can bleed profusely, and simple infections may turn into more serious problems.

Myelodysplastic Syndrome's initiation is equivalent to AML or acute myelogenous leukemia. The former can develop into the latter if the marrow contains leukemic cells that grow out of control. A common symptom of AML sufferers is joint pain. There are Myelodysplastic Syndrome patients who live with it without any life-changing issues. There are instances when the disease does not develop for years; even blood cell count changes are insignificant. The person is able to live a normally functioning life.
With the different variations of the Myelodysplastic Syndrome, there is still no concrete origin for the syndrome. Some of the factors that seem to encourage its development include earlier treatments involving radiation (for another type of cancer); the treatment used to kill cancer cells affect the normal operation of the bone marrow. Radiation can also heighten the syndrome's risk of developing into AML. In relation, the risk of developing AML is increased with high levels Benzene exposure in an industrial setting. The government has regulated the use of Benzene in industrial plants to decrease the adverse health effects, although the results of the regulation are not concretely proven. There is no irrevocable cure for Myelodysplastic Syndrome, but it can be treated with chemotherapy, stem cell transplants and blood transfusions, which all contribute to the patient having a better quality of life.
What is Myelodysplastic Syndrome? | Admin | 5