Myelodysplastic syndromes are a family of rare disorders that prevent bone marrow stem cells from maturing into healthy blood cells. This leaves less room for healthy cells, which can lead to infection, anemia or easy bleeding. Myelodysplastic syndromes often do not cause early symptoms and are sometimes found during a routine blood test. People at higher risk are over 60, have had chemotherapy or radiation therapy, or have been exposed to certain chemicals.
Symptoms may include:
Shortness of breath
Weakness or fatigue
Unusually pale skin (pallor)
Easy bruising or bleeding
Pinpoint spots under the skin caused by bleeding
Fever or frequent infections
Treatment options include transfusions, drug therapy, chemotherapy and blood or bone marrow stem cell transplants.