Information for Patients
Also called: 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. Many of them die in the bone marrow. This means that you do not have enough healthy cells, which can lead to infection, anemia, or easy bleeding.
Myelodysplastic syndromes often do not cause early symptoms and are sometimes found during a routine blood test. If you have symptoms, they may include
- Shortness of breath
- Weakness or feeling tired
- Skin that is paler than usual
- Easy bruising or bleeding
- Pinpoint spots under the skin caused by bleeding
- Fever or frequent infections
Myelodysplastic syndromes are rare. People at higher risk are over 60, have had chemotherapy or radiation therapy, or have been exposed to certain chemicals. Treatment options include transfusions, drug therapy, chemotherapy, and blood or bone marrow stem cell transplants.
NIH: National Cancer Institute
- Bone marrow transplant (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Bone marrow transplant - discharge (Medical Encyclopedia)
5q minus syndrome 5q minus (5q-) syndrome is a type of bone marrow disorder called myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). MDS comprises a group of conditions in which immature blood cells fail to develop normally, resulting in too many immature cells and too few normal mature blood cells. In 5q- syndrome, development of red blood cells is particularly affected, leading to a shortage of these cells (anemia). In addition, the red blood cells that are present are unusually large (macrocytic). Although many people with 5q- syndrome have no symptoms related to anemia, especially in the early stages of the condition, some affected individuals develop extreme tiredness (fatigue), weakness, and an abnormally pale appearance (pallor) as the condition worsens. Individuals with 5q- syndrome also have abnormal development of bone marrow cells called megakaryocytes, which produce platelets, the cells involved in blood clotting. A common finding in people with 5q- syndrome is abnormal cells described as hypolobated megakaryocytes. In addition, some individuals with 5q- syndrome have an excess of platelets, while others have normal numbers of platelets.MDS is considered a slow-growing (chronic) blood cancer. It can progress to a fast-growing blood cancer called acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Progression to AML occurs less commonly in people with 5q- syndrome than in those with other forms of MDS.