MDS is a condition that affects the bone marrow, which is the body part responsible for making red blood cells that brings oxygen to body tissues, white blood cells, which is the body’s immune system that fights infections, and the platelets which help stop bleeding. Specialists at Hunterdon Hematology Oncology, LLC provide comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of Flemington myelodysplastic syndrome to identify patients before the disease has become leukemic and treat them for the MDs and ultimately do a STEM cell transplant or a bone marrow transplant to try to cure the patient in the MDs phase of the disease, before it evolves to acute leukemia.
When you have the myelodysplastic syndrome, you have a malfunctioned bone marrow, and therefore you cannot make the blood cells that your body needs. MDS symptoms are all related to low blood counts, for example, having decreased red blood cells means you are anemic, and some of the symptoms you will experience include fatigue and shortness of breath. Some people complain of chest pain because the heart is not getting enough blood.
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Understanding myelodysplastic syndrome
An important question is how serious of disease is MDs? Is it a type of cancer? Hematologists do refer to MDs as a type of cancer, and that is because MDs patients have a specific set of cells in the bone marrow that are growing abnormally, which are known as a clone of cells. Clonal disease is thought of as a type of cancer, especially when it impacts blood’s normal production.
The prognosis of MDs varies dramatically. Some patients have less than a year to live from the time of their diagnosis, and then other patients may live 10 or 15 years or more with the disease. With such a broad range of prognoses, the patients must be thoroughly evaluated for all of the components that make up these prognostic scoring systems.
If you have deficient neutrophils, you may be at risk for infection, very low platelet counts, and be at risk of developing life-threatening bleeding. Severe anemia is usually treated with blood transfusions, so it rarely affects the prognosis by itself.
It is essential to speak with your physician about your prognosis, which depends on the blasts’ percentage. The more blasts you have, the more likely the disease is to evolve into acute myeloid leukemia. When AML or acute myeloid leukemia arises from MDs, it can be challenging to treat.
Some patients have a very mild anemia A mild anemia without transfusions has a much better prognosis than a patient who requires frequent transfusions, this relates to the underlying disease. A patient who needs regular blood cell transfusions has bone marrow that is not functioning well at all whereas a patient who has mild anemia and does not require a blood cell transfusion has bone marrow that is functioning close to normal. Your care provider will look at blood transfusion requirements, genetics, percent blasts, and other diseases. Patients with MDs tend to be elderly, and if you have other diseases besides MDs, they can work together to impair your lifestyle and longevity.
Contact Hunterdon Hematology Oncology to learn more about MDS and schedule a treatment appointment today to enhance your well-being.