What is the medical condition MDS?

Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are conditions that can occur when the blood-forming cells in the bone marrow become abnormal. This leads to low numbers of one or more types of blood cells. MDS is considered a type of cancer.

What is the life expectancy of a person with MDS?

With current treatments, patients with lower-risk types of some MDS can live for 5 years or even longer. Patients with higher-risk MDS that becomes acute myeloid leukemia (AML) are likely to have a shorter life span. About 30 out of 100 MDS patients will develop AML.

Is MDS curable?

MDS cannot be cured with chemotherapy. An allogeneic bone marrow transplant (BMT) is the only potential cure for patients with MDS.

How serious is MDS?

MDS is a severe, chronic syndrome from which very few people successfully recover. It often progresses to AML, which is a form of leukemia. Depending on which scoring system a doctor uses, life expectancy can change, according to the progression of MDS.

Is MDS a terminal disease?

MDS is a form of bone marrow cancer, although its progression into leukaemia does not always occur. The failure of the bone marrow to produce mature healthy cells is a gradual process, and therefore MDS is not necessarily a terminal disease.

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How do MDS patients die?

As the U.S. population continues to age, the number of people diagnosed with MDS each year is likely increasing. Death from MDS is often caused by bleeding and/or infection from low blood cell counts or after the disease becomes acute myeloid leukemia (AML). About a third of patients with MDS develop AML.

What is the best treatment for MDS?

Both azacitidine and decitabine are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat all types of MDS. However, these drugs are used most often for patients with higher IPSS-R scores. Both can be given in the doctor’s office or clinic.

How is MDS treated in the elderly?

High-dose chemotherapy followed by allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is currently the only known potentially curative treatment for MDS, but it is rarely taken into consideration in the elderly population.

Can chemo cure MDS?

Chemotherapy is not used to treat or cure MDS. However, high-dose chemotherapy may be used before a stem cell transplant to rid the body of cancer cells. It may also be used for MDS that has become acute myeloid leukemia or to ease symptoms caused by the disease.

What is considered high risk MDS?

The newer WPSS classification system takes into account chromosomal abnormalities like IPSS, but includes two more factors—the WHO’s own classification of MDS subtypes and whether the patient is dependent on red cell transfusions. In the WPSS, a score of three or above is considered higher-risk.

Do you lose weight with MDS?

MDS can cause fatigue, fevers, weight loss, and other symptoms. However, these problems can often be signs of other blood-related illnesses. Consult your doctor if you experience: shortness of breath.

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Is there pain with MDS?

Leukemia or myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) can cause bone or joint pain, usually because your bone marrow has become overcrowded with cancer cells. At times, these cells may form a mass near the spinal cord’s nerves or in the joints.

Does MDS make you tired?

Symptoms of MDS include fatigue and shortness of breath during physical activity, which are common to many diseases. Some patients have no symptoms. A shortage of red blood cells (anemia) can lead to excessive tiredness, shortness of breath, and pale skin.

Does MDS run in families?

Most often, MDS is not inherited, meaning passed from parent to child within a family. However, some genetic changes may increase a person’s risk of developing MDS.

How long before MDS turns into leukemia?

Results: During the course of this study, over the past eight years and seven months, 21 (13.91%) of 151 MDS patients progressed to overt leukemia, with a median interval of 5 (1 — 23) months.