People with MYELODYSPLASTIC SYNDROME will have different symptoms depending on which blood cells are affected- a low red blood cell count is called anemia; a low white blood cell count is called leukopenia of these the white blood cells that are the most important for attacking and killing bacteria are called neutrophils, a low neutrophil count is called neutropenia; a low platelet count is called thrombocytopenia
Blood is made of blood cells floating and plasma is the liquid part of the blood, and is mostly water but also contains proteins hormones minerals and vitamins. there are 3 types of blood cells in the blood, red blood cells are also called erythrocytes or red blood cells carry oxygen to cells and tissues; white blood cells, the body soldiers that fight infection; platelets are small cells that help the blood to clot.
Inside the bones is a spongy tissue, The bone marrow, which contains cells called stem cells, these cells are rapidly dividing forming 10 billion new blood cells every hour of every day. These stem cells can grow copies or clones of themselves which eventually developed into mature blood cells once they are fully formed and functional the blood cells leave the bone marrow and go into the bloodstream. In people with MYELODYSPLASTIC SYNDROME or MDS some of the stem cells in the bone marrow are abnormal most of the time we do not know the reason why stem cells become abnormal and this is called De Novo MDS. We do note that certain factors are linked to MDS you are more likely to develop MDS; if you are a smoker, if you are heavily exposed to certain chemicals like pesticides or if you have received chemotherapy or radiation treatments for other cancers.
Abnormal stem cells may not develop intermittent your blood cells, instead, abnormal immature cells accumulate in the bone marrow where they crowd out the normal cells and decrease the body’s ability to form normal blood cells. Abnormal stem cells may also develop into abnormal or dysplastic blood cells- dysplastic means they have an abnormal shape size. These cells may not function properly and do not develop into mature blood cells efficiently. It is what is referred to in some circles as “Lazy Bone Marrow”. The combination of bone marrow cells with immature cells as well as the presence of dysplastic cells that do not mature efficiently is the reason why patients with MDS have low blood counts.
People with MDS will have different symptoms depending on which blood cells are affected- a low red blood cell count is called anemia; a low white blood cell count is called leukopenia of these the white blood cells that are the most important for attacking and killing bacteria are called neutrophils, a low neutrophil count is called neutropenia; a low platelet count is called thrombocytopenia
The information in this document does not replace a medical consultation. It is for personal guidance use only. We recommend that patients ask their doctors about what tests or types of treatments are needed for their type and stage of the disease.
American Cancer Society
The National Cancer Institute
National Comprehensive Cancer Network
American Academy of Gastroenterology
National Institute of Health
MD Anderson Cancer Center
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center