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    Myelodysplastic Syndromes

    Important
    It is possible that the main title of the report Myelodysplastic Syndromes is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

    Synonyms

    Disorder Subdivisions

    • None

    General Discussion

    Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a rare group of blood disorders that occur as a result of disordered development of blood cells within the bone marrow. The three main types of blood elements (i.e., red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets) are affected. Red blood cells deliver oxygen to the body and remove carbon dioxide, white blood cells help fight infections, and platelets assist in clotting to stop blood loss. In MDS dysfunctional blood cells fail to develop normally and enter the bloodstream. As a result, individuals with MDS have abnormally low blood cell levels (low blood counts). General symptoms associated with MDS include fatigue, dizziness, weakness, bruising and bleeding, frequent infections, and headaches. In some cases, MDS may progress to life-threatening failure of the bone marrow or develop into an acute leukemia. The exact cause of MDS is unknown. There are no clear risk factors but genetics and the environment may play a part. Myelodysplastic syndromes were first noted in the medical literature in 1930s where they were described as pre-leukemic conditions. Myelodysplastic syndromes were not regarded as separate, distinct disorders until 1976. In the past, these disorders have also been known by a variety of names including refractory anemia, oligoblastic anemia, myelodysplastic anemia, pre-leukemia, and smoldering leukemia.

    Resources

    Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation, Inc.
    100 Park Avenue, Suite 108
    Rockville, MD 20850
    USA
    Tel: (301)279-7202
    Fax: (301)279-7205
    Tel: (800)747-2820
    Email: help@aamds.org
    Internet: http://www.aamds.org

    Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
    1311 Mamaroneck Avenue
    Suite 310
    White Plains, NY 10605
    Tel: (914)949-5213
    Fax: (914)949-6691
    Tel: (800)955-4572
    Email: infocenter@LLS.org
    Internet: http://www.LLS.org

    American Cancer Society, Inc.
    250 Williams NW St
    Ste 6000
    Atlanta, GA 30303
    USA
    Tel: (404)320-3333
    Tel: (800)227-2345
    TDD: (866)228-4327
    Internet: http://www.cancer.org

    NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
    P.O. Box 30105
    Bethesda, MD 20892-0105
    Tel: (301)592-8573
    Fax: (301)251-1223
    Email: nhlbiinfo@rover.nhlbi.nih.gov
    Internet: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/

    National Cancer Institute
    6116 Executive Blvd Suite 300
    Bethesda, MD 20892-8322
    USA
    Tel: (301)435-3848
    Tel: (800)422-6237
    TDD: (800)332-8615
    Email: cancergovstaff@mail.nih.gov
    Internet: http://www.cancer.gov

    World Health Organization (WHO)
    Avenue Appia 20
    Geneva 27, 1211
    Switzerland
    Tel: 41227912111
    Fax: 41227913111
    Internet: http://www.who.int/en/

    National Bone Marrow Transplant Link
    20411 W. 12 Mile Rd
    Suite 108
    Southfield, MI 48076
    Tel: (248)358-1886
    Fax: (248)358-1889
    Tel: (800)546-5268
    Email: info@nbmtlink.org
    Internet: http://www.nbmtlink.org

    Aplastic Anemia & Myelodysplasia Association of Canada
    11181 Yonge Street Suite 321
    Richmond Hill
    Ontario, L4S 1L2
    Canada
    Tel: 9057800698
    Fax: 9057801648
    Tel: 8888400039
    Email: info@aamac.ca
    Internet: http://www.aamac.ca

    National Marrow Donor Program
    3001 Broadway St. NE
    Suite 100
    Minneapolis, MN 55413-1753
    USA
    Tel: (612)627-5800
    Fax: (612)627-8125
    Tel: (800)627-7692
    Email: patientinfo@nmdp.org
    Internet: http://www.marrow.org

    Rare Cancer Alliance
    1649 North Pacana Way
    Green Valley, AZ 85614
    USA
    Internet: http://www.rare-cancer.org

    Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
    PO Box 8126
    Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
    Tel: (301)251-4925
    Fax: (301)251-4911
    Tel: (888)205-2311
    TDD: (888)205-3223
    Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

    Patient Registries at Slone: Myeloma & MDS
    Slone Epidemiology Center
    1010 Commonwealth Avenue
    Boston, MA 02215
    Fax: (617)738-5119
    Tel: (800)231-3769
    Email: registry@slone.bu.edu
    Internet: http://www.bu.edu/prs

    Friends of Cancer Research
    1800 M Street NW
    Suite 1050 South
    Washington, DC 22202
    Tel: (202)944-6700
    Email: info@focr.org
    Internet: http://www.focr.org

    Cancer.Net
    American Society of Clinical Oncology
    2318 Mill Road Suite 800
    Alexandria, VA 22314
    Tel: (571)483-1780
    Fax: (571)366-9537
    Tel: (888)651-3038
    Email: contactus@cancer.net
    Internet: http://www.cancer.net/

    Myeloproliferative Disease Support and Daily Email Digest
    2011 Flagler Ave.
    Key West, FL 33040
    USA
    Tel: (305)295-4444
    Email: roberttollen@gmail.com
    Internet: http://www.mpdsupport.org/

    For a Complete Report:

    This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

    The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

    It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

    This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

    For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email orphan@rarediseases.org

    Last Updated: 3/15/2012
    Copyright 2004, 2005, 2006, 2012 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

    WebMD Medical Reference from the National Organization for Rare Disorders

    Last Updated: May 28, 2015
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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