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Myelodysplastic Disorder Resources
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Myelodysplastic Disorders

Myelodysplastic Disorders

Myelodysplastic disorders occur when your blood marrow begins making inadequate numbers of poorly formed blood cells.

What are the symptoms of myelodysplastic disorders?
There may be no symptoms at first. Eventually, pale skin, fatigue, shortness of breath and frequent infections can occur. Problems like red spots just under the skin caused by bleeding, anemia and easy bruising may develop. Some people will experience chest pain and other cardiovascular symptoms. Sometimes, leukemia develops.

How are myelodysplastic disorders diagnosed?
Blood tests are the first step, followed by a bone marrow biopsy.

What are the treatments for myelodysplastic disorders?
The treatment will depend on the exact myelodysplastic disorder you have, your age and your overall health. A stem cell transplant is possible for younger, healthier patients, and can offer a cure. However, many treatments are aimed not at a cure but at dealing with the symptoms. Red blood cell transfusions, followed by treatments to eliminate the excess iron, may be given. Platelet transfusions also may be ordered. Certain chemotherapy drugs can be used in certain circumstances.

What are the risk factors for myelodysplastic disorders?
Myelodysplastic disorders typically strike people later in life. A history of chemotherapy or radiation or exposure to certain industrial chemicals, smoking or heavy metals can increase your risk.

What are some additional resources for learning about myelodysplastic disorders?
If you or your loved one is facing myelodysplastic disorders, CalvertHealth has a whole range of services designed to help you so you never take this journey alone. Please talk to your CalvertHealth provider or your Nurse Navigator, or check the service pages for information about treatments, services and support groups.