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Myelodysplastic syndrome: What happens?

Myelodysplastic syndromes are part of the family diseases of the blood. It is estimated that affect an average of 3-5 people per hundred thousand inhabitants. Severe disease of the bone marrow, which is not capable of producing blood the patient needs. What are the symptoms? Can it be prevented? What is the treatment? Here are some frequently asked questions on this topic.

myelodysplastic syndromes

Myelodysplastic syndrome, with a prevalence of between 3 to 5 diagnoses per hundred thousand inhabitants, is a disease severe blood caused by the inability of the bone marrow to produce all the blood needed by our body. Its primary manifestation or symptom is a decrease in the levels of hemoglobin, although the origin and exact cause remains an open question, still a challenge for doctors and specialists. Some hypotheses and medical data could point to a possible genetic predisposition, but neither are discarded other risk factors such as age, exposure to certain environmental or industrial agents or as a possible side effect of cancer treatment (radiotherapy and chemotherapy).

Defined as the medical experts, myelodysplastic syndromes are part of a number of disorders of the bone marrow characterized by insufficient production of healthy blood cells as well as by the presence of abnormal immature cells. Although it is a disease related to aging, and is usually diagnosed in older people, it can also affect young people. In this case, the incidence is higher in men than in women.

Myelodysplastic syndrome: Symptoms

In most cases, this condition is developed with a initial anemia, with more or less accentuated depending clear and severity of symptoms. In fact, doctors estimate that 9 out of 10 cases presenting with an initial diagnosis of anemia. Myelodysplastic syndrome patients have low levels of red blood cells (which generate tiredness and weakness), white blood cells (which make them more prone to infections, fevers and ulcers in the mouth) and platelets (which generate more bruising and bleeding).

It should be noted that this is a disease that in its early stages, may be silent, i.e. no obvious signs or symptoms. In many cases, this makes the syndrome is detected in a routine analysis of blood.


Symptoms, stage of the disease, the patient’s age, medical history and availability of a potential bone marrow donor are some of the factors that are taken into account when treating myelodysplastic syndromes. Control symptoms, improve quality of life of the patient and raise the survival are three of the goals pursued by any treatment. Thus, besides supporting treatments for control of symptoms and among other medical and pharmacological therapies also stimulating the bone marrow or immature cells eradication through applies intensive chemotherapy.