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The Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program of BC

For Patients & Families
Diseases

Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS)

What Is Myelodysplastic Syndrome?

Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) is a pre-cancerous disorder in which there is impaired production of the normal components of blood, namely white cells, red cells and platelets.

Symptoms & Outcome

MDS is frequently associated with fatigue, shortness of breath, infection and/or serious bleeding. MDS patients are at risk of developing frank acute leukemia.

Some individuals with MDS survive for years with little treatment required. Others have complications relating to their low blood counts from the time of diagnosis, particularly if their white cell or platelet count is very low.

One of the best predictors of outcome in MDS is the chromosomal content of the bone marrow cells and this requires a bone marrow sample to be taken. This test is helpful in assessing whether a patient with MDS is likely to develop acute leukemia within weeks, months or years.

Useful Resources

The following web sites may provide further helpful information:

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