Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS)

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Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) refer to at least five different problems. These all hurt the growth of blood cells in the bone marrow. Usually, MDS prevents your bone marrow from making all the healthy blood cells you need. 

Most cases of MDS have no known cause. Sometimes, chemotherapy and radiation can increase your risk of MDS.

MDS: A Cancer of the Bone Marrow

Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) occurs when the stem cells in the bone marrow don't function correctly. Hematologist/oncologist Michael Keng, MD, walks us through the ins and outs of this multi-faceted bone marrow disorder. View myelodysplastic transcript.

Treatment for Myelodysplastic Syndromes

With treatment, we hope to bring your blood counts back to healthy levels. This can send you into remission. 

Not all treatments work for everybody. We'll create a care plan for your type of MDS. 

Treatments include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Stem cell transplant

Leukemia and Side Effects

MDS often turns into acute leukemia (AML). In fact, people used to call MDS "preleukemia." 

It can also lead to:

  • Bleeding 
  • Infection 
  • Anemia 

We can treat you for these side effects. Strategies include:

  • Growth factor to help your body create more healthy blood cells
  • Antibiotics to fight infections

Our palliative care team can offer support for dealing with pain.