What are the Signs and Symptoms of Myelodysplastic Syndrome?
Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a group of disorders caused by poorly formed blood cells or cells that do not work properly. The signs and symptoms of MDS are often subtle and many patients do not experience any symptoms in the early stages of the disease. However, as the disease progresses, symptoms may become more apparent. It's important to note that these symptoms can also be caused by conditions other than MDS, so it's crucial to seek medical advice for a proper diagnosis.
The Most Common Signs and Symptoms of Myelodysplastic Syndrome include:
- Fatigue and weakness: This is due to anemia, a condition in which the body lacks enough red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the tissues, causing tiredness and shortness of breath.
- Frequent infections: A low white blood cell count (leukopenia) can make you more susceptible to infections.
- Easy bruising or bleeding: This can occur due to a low platelet count (thrombocytopenia), which affects the blood's ability to clot.
- Pale skin: This is also a result of anemia.
- Shortness of breath: This can occur due to anemia or when the body is fighting off an infection.
- Pinpoint-sized red spots under your skin (petechiae): These are caused by bleeding, due to low platelet count.
Seek Care For Your Myelodysplastic Syndrome
If you or a loved one are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it's important to seek medical attention. While these symptoms can be caused by conditions other than MDS, they warrant a visit to a healthcare provider for further evaluation. Early diagnosis and treatment can help manage the symptoms of MDS and improve quality of life. Treatment options for MDS vary depending on the type and stage of the disease, as well as the patient's overall health. They may include supportive care to manage symptoms, drug therapy, or in some cases, stem cell transplantation.