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Myelodysplastic Syndromes

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What are myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS)?

MDS are a group of conditions that prevent stem cells in your bone marrow from working properly. Stem cells normally make red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs), and platelets. MDS cause stem cells to grow and increase in number without control or order. The RBCs, WBCs, and platelets produced are faulty and too few in number. This increases your risk for anemia (low numbers of RBCs), abnormal bleeding, infections, and leukemia. MDS usually affect people older than 70 years.

What increases my risk for MDS?

What are the signs and symptoms of MDS?

How are MDS diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask about other medical conditions you may have. He or she will also ask if you have a family history of MDS or autoimmune disease. You may need any of the following tests:

How are MDS treated?

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

How can I manage MDS?

It is important to lower your risk for bleeding or bruising, and to prevent infections:

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.