Definition of myelodysplasia or myelodysplastic syndrome.
It is a term used for a variety of diseases that are characterized by the ineffective production (or dysplasia) of a specific type of blood cell , which can be a warning that cancer may be developing in the body.
This condition usually refers to a condition that carries a high risk of becoming acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
However it is important to remember that myelodysplasia is a unique syndrome, in which many people die from this condition without even developing a leukemia. In fact, only about one third of all patients with myelodysplastic syndromes evolve to AML in a few years.
All myelodysplastic syndromes involve the so-called “adult stem cells” that are found in the bone marrow and are usually responsible for maintaining the high arterial cell count.
The human body needs a certain amount of red blood cells to make sure that all organs are receiving enough oxygen and a certain amount of white blood cells to ensure that infections can be effectively treated.
As the disease progresses, the bone marrow decreases in its role even more, where the result is progressively worse than anemia, due to the low blood cell count.
Leukemia refers to a cancer of the white blood cells.
The white blood cells in the human body come in many different shapes and sizes, but in general, they have the same primordial function within the body: they are designed to be able to fight invasions of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and debris.
If the myelodysplasia progresses to leukemia, the anemia that was present may persist, and a number of other problems will arise.
Leukemia is defined as an overgrowth of dysfunctional white blood cells, so the body’s ability to fight infections can interfere with other parts of the body such as the spleen, liver and lymph nodes, triggering a pain in the abdomen and the joints.
Causes of Myelodysplasia
The causes of myelodysplasia tend to be similar to that of leukemia. Exposure to carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) such as radiation or benzene leads to mutating DNA and causing adult stem cells to stop working. In addition, secondary myelodysplasia may occur after cancer treatments.
Diagnosis of Myelodysplasia Syndrome
Myelodysplasia has a wide variety of symptoms, which must be differentiated from other forms of anemia and other diseases that result in low levels of blood cells. In general, inexplicably low cell counts, along with bone marrow degeneration, are required to diagnose a disease such as myelodysplastic syndrome. This involves complete blood counts, chromosomal studies in the cells of the bone marrow, and rule out diseases such as lupus, hepatitis, HIV and vitamin deficiencies.
Treatment of Myelodysplasia Syndrome
The treatment of myelodysplasia usually focuses on increasing blood counts and controlling symptoms.
Blood transfusions and growth factors of blood cells are usually given to people with the disease.
Stem cell transplantation is often used in severely affected patients to replace adult stem cells in the malfunction of the bone marrow . Chemotherapy is sometimes used to slow the transition to leukemia.