(MDS; Myelodysplasia; Preleukemia; Smoldering Leukemia; Subacute Leukemia)
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- Family members with MDS
- Certain genetic syndromes:
- Exposure to large amounts of radiation
- Exposure to certain chemicals, such as benzene
- Exposure to pesticides
- Radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy treatment for cancer
- Typically, there are no symptoms in the early stages of MDS. Later stage symptoms may vary from person to person, depending on how serious the disease is. Later stage symptoms may include:
Signs of anemia due to underproduction or red blood cells include:
- Shortness of breath
- Pale skin
- Feeling weak and tired
- Heart failure (in severe cases)
Neutropenia occurs when there are inadequate levels of white blood cells. White blood cells fight infection. Signs of this condition include:
- Frequent, unusual, or especially serious infections
Thrombocytopenia occurs when there are inadequate levels of platelets in the blood. Platelets stop bleeding by clotting the blood. Signs of thrombocytopenia include:
- Bleeding easily, especially from the nose and gums
- Bruising easily
- Other symptoms may include loss of appetite, weight loss, and feeling tired.
- Blood test to check your red and white blood cell counts and platelet counts and to check how the blood cells look.
- Bone marrow biopsy to check for MDS. A bone marrow biopsy is the removal of a sample of bone marrow for testing.
- Your doctor may also order other tests to rule out other conditions.
- Erythropoietin (EPO) is a growth factor that helps the bone marrow produce red blood cells.
- Granulocyte colony-stimulating factors (G-CSF) and granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factors (GM-CSF) are growth factors that help the bone marrow produce white blood cells. Pegfilgrastim is a form of G-CSF that is longer acting.
- Oprelvekin is a drug that helps the body produce platelets.
- Cytarabine and idarubicin
- Cytarabine and topotecan
- Cytarabine and fludarabine
- Anti-thymocyte globulin (ATG)
Stem Cell Transplant
- Avoid exposure to hazardous chemicals such as benzene
- Don’t smoke or if you do smoke, quit
Reduce your risk for developing cancer:
- Eat a balanced, healthful diet
- Stay active
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Avoid environmental and occupational risks
American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society http://www.leukemia-lymphoma.org
Myelodysplastic Syndromes Foundation http://www.mds-foundation.org
Aplastic Anemia and Myelodysplasia Association of Canada http://www.aamac.ca
Neutropenia Support Association http://www.neutropenia.ca
Ableoff M, ed. Clinical Oncology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2005.
Ableoff M, ed. Clinical Oncology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2004.
Frequently asked questions about MDS page. The Myelodysplastic Syndromes Foundation website. Available at: http://www.mds-foundation.org/pdf/CEL411%20Factsht%20v8.pdf. Accessed December 12, 2014.
Goldman L, ed. Cecil Textbook of Medicine. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: W.B. Saunders Company; 2004.
Hoffman R, Benz E, Shattil S, et al, eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2005.
Myelodysplastic syndrome. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003122-pdf.pdf. Accessed December 12, 2014.
Myelodysplastic syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated November 7, 2014. Accessed December 12, 2014.
Myelodysplastic syndromes. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003122-pdf.pdf. Accessed December 12, 2014.
Myelodysplastic syndromes. Leukemia and Lymphoma Society website. Available at: http://www.lls.org/#/diseaseinformation/myelodysplasticsyndromes. Accessed December 12, 2014.
Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). National Marrow Donor Program website. Available at: http://bethematch.org/for-patients-and-families/learning-about-your-disease/myelodysplastic-syndromes/?%5Fga=1.117631946.252394797.1418414089. Accessed December 12, 2014.
Myelodysplastic syndromes treatment (PDQ). National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/myelodysplastic/patient. Accessed December 12, 2014.
Understanding myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). The Myelodysplastic Syndromes Foundation website. Available at: http://www.mds-foundation.org/what-is-mds. Accessed December 12, 2014.
- Reviewer: Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
- Review Date: 12/2014 -
- Update Date: 12/20/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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