Also known as ‘myelodysplasia’, myelodysplastic syndrome is a blood disorder which occurs when an individual’s body fail to produce sufficient amount of blood cells required for maintaining a good health. Such condition is mostly observed in people older than 60 years of age group. Men are more likely to develop myelodysplastic syndrome as compared to women. Myelodysplastic syndrome treatment mainly focuses on controlling its symptoms, minimizing its complications, and maximizing overall quality of patient’s life.
Bone marrow is a mushy tissue located in between the bones. A bone marrow supports the entire mechanism of body and is responsible for producing the following type of cells.
Red Blood Cells – These cells are essential for carrying fresh oxygen throughout the body.
White Blood Cells – These cells help prevent the body from severe infections caused by harmful germs or viruses.
Platelets – Platelets manage to keep the body strong by stopping the blood at the event of any injury.
Myelodysplastic syndrome adversely affects the functioning of bone marrow and leads to insufficiency of healthy blood cells.
The following points depict the main types of myelodysplastic syndromes.
Refractory Anemia – This condition develops when only red blood cells of patients are affected.
Refractory Cytopenia – In this case, all blood cells namely – platelets, red blood cells, and white blood cells are distressed.
Refractory Anemia with Excess Blasts (RAEB) – Just like refractory cytopenia, this condition affects red cells, white cells as well as platelets. The only difference is that patients suffering from RAEB are more prone to developing acute leukemia.
Myelodysplastic syndrome is not easy to identify as it does not reveal any significant symptoms in its developmental stages. The following list exhibit some of the major warning signs of Myelodysplastic syndrome.
Extreme Weakness – Patients with an underlying Myelodysplastic syndrome may experience long episodes of tiredness, breathlessness, and weakness due to deficiency of red blood cells.
Frequent Infections – Patients become more prone to acquiring life-threatening infections due to less quantity of white blood cells.
Unusual Bleeding or Bruising – Patients may encounter problems like nosebleeds due to less number of platelets.
At first, doctors may evaluate complete medical history of patients. After that, they may order the given tests for identifying the presence of myelodysplastic syndrome in patient’s blood.
Blood Tests – Several blood tests can be helpful in determining exact blood count and any abnormality in blood. Surgeons will thoroughly check the dimensions along with appearance of cells.
Removal of Bone Marrow – Surgeons may take a sample of bone marrow tissues from patient’s body further to test the blood. This diagnostic test usually takes 15 to 20 minutes for its completion.
The enumerated list elaborates some major treatments which can be performed to help patients get rid of myelodysplastic syndrome to a large extent.
Blood Transfusion – Blood transfusion is performed to remove and replace the deteriorated blood cells with healthy ones from patient’s body. It helps in increasing blood count by distributing sufficient amount of oxygenated blood in body.
Immunosuppression Treatment – Surgeons may use medications like cyclosporine to slow down the activity of patient’s attacking immune system which allows bone marrow to generate new blood cells.
Chemotherapy Drugs – Surgeons may use chemotherapy drugs when patients are at a greater risk of developing acute myeloid leukemia. Chemotherapy treatment can efficiently cease the abnormal cell growth and helps patients to stay in a healthy state of being.
Stem Cell Transplant or Bone Marrow Transplant – Stem cell transplant procedure involves implanting new and healthy stem cells in patient’s body. Surgeons kill the abnormal cells by chemotherapy drugs or radiation treatment prior performing this transplantation procedure. As this procedure is intensive in nature, patients should not have any chronic illness or disease. Patients with a good general health condition are considered to be ideal candidates for undergoing a bone marrow transplant.
Myelodysplastic syndrome treatment cost may vary depending on provisions of medical care center and patient’s requirement.
Patients with myelodysplastic syndromes are more prone to developing severe infections. They can significantly minimize the risk of infections by following the given instructions.
Cleaning Hands – Patients should use a good hand sanitizer or soap every time before they eat anything. It will ensure a good hygiene and reduce the chances of infections.
Cooking Properly – Patients should wash and peel the fruits properly before eating. They should also clean the veggies thoroughly before cooking them.
Avoiding The Company of Sick People – Immune system of patients suffering from myelodysplastic syndrome becomes weak and more vulnerable to getting diseases. Therefore, patients must avoid company of sick people including friends or co-workers.
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