Can you please tell me about Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS)?

1 answer | Last updated: Nov 12, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

Please tell me about MDS. All that I know is that it is a type of cancer. Thanks.


Expert Answers

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

Myelodysplastic syndrome is a complex disorder that causes abnormalities of the blood counts.  It is usually discovered by doing blood tests, where an anemia, low white blood cell count, or low platelet count is found.  It is not really a cancer, but rather a blood disorder.  It will often develop into a leukemia, which is why it is often known as a "pre-leukemia".  

For treatment of anemias from the MDS, usually blood  transfusions are given.  Sometimes erythropoietin injections are tried to boost the blood count as well.

For the best care, I would be sure to be followed by a hemotologist, who  will have the most knowledge about the condition, and be able to offer you the most up to date treatments.