|Myelodysplasia or Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) is a group of
disorders where the bone marrow does not work well and the bone
marrow cells fail to make enough healthy blood cells.
About ten to fifteen thousand persons are diagnosed with MDS in
the USA every year.
MDS stands for Myelodysplastic syndromes. "Myeloid" stands for
"blood cells" and dysplastic means "funny looking" or misshapen.
MDS is a group of disorders where your bone marrow does not work
well, and the bone marrow cells fail to make enough healthy blood
cells. People with MDS may not have the right amount of red blood
cells (my case), white blood cells, and platelets.
In patients with this disease, many bone marrow cells do not
develop into working blood cells. Instead, many of these cells die
off in the bone marrow. This is why blood counts tend to be low in
patients with MDS.
Your bone marrow is the spongy tissue inside some of your bones,
such as your hip and thigh bones. It contains immature cells, called
stem cells. The stem cells can develop into the red blood cells that
carry oxygen through your body, the white blood cells that fight
infections, and the platelets that help with blood clotting. If you
have a myelodysplastic syndrome, the stem cells do not mature into
healthy blood cells. This leaves less room for healthy cells, which
can lead to infection, anemia, or easy bleeding.