Myelodysplastic syndrome is a condition in which the blood forming cells present inside the bone marrow start functioning abnormally. One of the main features of MDS i.e. myelodysplastic syndrome is that it leads to lowering of blood cell. At times, the problem is detected in blood test much before the symptoms appear. However, in other cases the primary symptoms include shortage of one or multiple types of blood cells.

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  • In anemia when the count of red blood cells drops drastically, then the patient starts feeling weak, dizzy, and experience breathlessness and so on.
  • In leukopenia when the count of white blood cells reduces then it makes an individual prone to develop severe infections.
  • In thrombocytopenia when the count of blood platelets decreases then it leads to frequent bleeding and bruising. This is the reason why majority of people suffer bleeding from nose and gums. (1)

 Does Myelodysplastic Syndrome Cause Weight Loss?

Does Myelodysplastic Syndrome Cause Weight Loss?

Some of the common symptoms of this problem include:

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The myelodysplastic syndrome symptoms are very common and this is why people neglect them. However, if the problem is left untreated for a prolonged period of time then with time the condition can become even worst. As the normal production of blood cells is adversely affected, the patient suffering from anemia, leukopenia or thrombocytopenia experience sudden weight loss. Experiencing weight loss without any effort is an indication that individual need medical help, hence; it is advised that in this condition, patient should immediately visit a doctor for examination. (1)

Early Diagnosis of Myelodysplastic Syndrome

The problem can be diagnosed at an early stage if the patient experiencing any of the above mentioned symptom visits the doctor for medical help. At times, the patient experiences symptoms at a very late stage, but still if due to any reason patient undergo blood test then the problem is detected immediately without fail.

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After the problem of myelodysplastic syndrome diagnosed, doctor do not start with the treatment, instead; they wait for some time and observe the way the problem is progressing. There are some medications that can have adverse affect on the production of blood cells, in this situation doctor recommend frequent blood tests to keep a check on the blood count.

Prognostic Scores

Before proceeding with myelodysplastic syndrome treatment doctor first examine the seriousness of the same i.e. how far the problem has spread and it helps in determining the prognostic scores. Accordingly Doctors opt for treatment approach that will be appropriate in treating the problem effectively.

There are some factors that help in determining prognostic scores for patient suffering from myelodysplastic syndrome. This list of these factors includes:

  • Type and the extent of chromosomal abnormality found in the blood cells
  • Count of platelets present in the individual blood
  • Red blood cell count of the patient (test for hemoglobin)
  • Percentage of blasts present in bone marrow
  • White blood cells count in patient’s blood

Each of these factors has some scored assigned. The score of all the five factors are added to build prognostic score. Further, based on this score patient is categorized in one of the five major risk groups of myelodysplastic syndrome. These risk groups are as follows:

  • Very low risk
  • Low risk
  • Moderate risk
  • High risk
  • Very high risk

Once the risk group of the patient is identified then doctors plan a treatment approach for the patient. This makes the treatment process systematic, effective and quick. There are some limitations associated with this system. For instance, this system was developed long back, so it does not consider patients who are not treated for myelodysplastic syndrome also it does not consider patients who have developed myelodysplastic syndrome as a side effect of chemotherapy. However, still this prognostic scores system is very helpful and is used by many doctors worldwide. Hence, ignoring the limitations there are various positive aspects that makes this scoring system very useful. (2)

References

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myelodysplastic_syndrome#Signs_and_symptoms
  2. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/myelodysplastic-syndrome/detection-diagnosis-staging/staging.html

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Sheetal DeCaria MD

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

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Last Modified On: May 14, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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