Bone marrow is a spongy part that is present inside the bones of humans. This spongy part is responsible for producing stem cells. These stem cells are basically immature blood cells. These immature stem cells then become mature blood cells.
In myelodysplastic syndrome, this ability of body to convert immature blood stem cells into mature blood cells is lost. Due to this there is presence of many immature blood cells like red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. These immature blood cells are not able to perform their function normally and hence the symptoms result.
Can Myelodysplastic Syndrome Go Away On Its Own?
No, myelodysplastic syndrome can never go away on its own. Once diagnosed the disease stays forever till death. Supportive treatment options can be used to make the life easier and increase the life expectancy of the patient. There is no cure for myelodysplastic syndrome.
The supportive care for this disease includes:
- Transfusion therapy
- Use of agents that stimulate erythropoiesis
- Antibiotic therapy
Supportive care is useful to help in relieving the symptoms of the disease and also help in improving the quality of life of the patient. Supportive care doesn’t cure or slow down the progression of the disease, it is just a palliative treatment. In order to slow down the progression of disease, drug therapy is used.
Transfusion therapy here refers to as blood transfusion. In this the blood is transfused to the patient to replace all the blood cells that have been destroyed due to this disorder. Different components of the blood can be given by red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets depending on what kind of cells are low in levels.
When the patient has symptoms of anemia (low red blood cells) like feeling tiredness all the time, shortness of breath, easy fatigability, only red blood cells are transfused in such patients. If symptoms of low platelets like easy bruising, ting red dots over the body are seen then only platelets are transfused. Likewise only the required cells are transfused to the patient.
One side effect of blood transfusion is iron toxicity. It results due to extra iron deposition in the body due to repeated transfusions. This can be treated with the help of iron chelation therapy. This therapy helps to eliminate extra iron that has built up in the cells.(2)
Using Agents That Stimulate Erythropoiesis:
Erythropoiesis is a process by which red blood cells are manufactured in the body. Erythropoiesis stimulating agents (ESAs) are useful to increase the amount of mature red blood cells.
Different antibiotics are used to treat the infections that the patient is afflicted with.(2)
Diagnosis Of Myelodysplastic Syndrome
Below given tests and examination procedures are used to diagnose myelodysplastic syndrome:
History. The patient must be asked about his/her past illnesses if there is history of similar complaints in the past.
Physical Examination. The patient must be examined for presence of signs of this disease; other signs if present must be also checked if there is possibility of any other disease.
Complete Blood Count (CBC). The blood is drawn from the patient’s body and is investigated. In this the total number red blood cells, white blood cells, quantity of hemoglobin present in the red blood cells, etc. must be checked.
Cytogenetic Changes. To look for cytogenetic changes, the blood sample of patient is observed under a microscope to look for any chromosomal abnormalities.
Peripheral Blood Smear (PBS) Study. In this the blood sample of patient is collected and then put on a glass slide and then observed under a microscope. In this study, the shape, size, color and number of red blood cells is checked. If there is iron over load in the red blood cells, it can be detected with the help of this test.(1)
Biochemical Studies Of Blood. In these studies, the amount of different vitamins like vitamin B12, folate, etc. is checked.
No, myelodysplastic syndrome cannot go away on its own. It has to be treated in certain ways to make the life of patient easier. There are different supportive care therapies that can be used for symptomatic treatment of the disease. But this disease is a life log disease and it can never be cured nor can it go away on its own.
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