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Sickle Cell Disorders - Topic Overview

Some people inherit one sickle cell gene and one other defective hemoglobin gene, resulting in various types of sickling disorders. These disorders range from mild to severe.

  • Sickle cell diseaseSickle cell disease (hemoglobin SS disease) occurs when both genes produce hemoglobin S. This person typically has symptoms of anemia, mild to life-threatening complications, and a shortened life span.
  • Sickle beta-thalassemia occurs when a person has one hemoglobin S gene and another gene that causes the body to produce less hemoglobin than normal. This person may have mild to severe sickle cell disease.
  • Hemoglobin SC disease occurs when a person has one hemoglobin S gene and one abnormal hemoglobin C gene. This person may have generally milder symptoms and a longer life span than a person with sickle cell disease but still may become seriously ill.
  • Hemoglobin SE disease occurs when a person has one hemoglobin S gene and one abnormal hemoglobin E gene. This person may have mild anemia. Most people do not have symptoms.
  • Hemoglobin SO disease and hemoglobin SD disease occur when a person has one hemoglobin S gene and one abnormal hemoglobin O or hemoglobin D gene. This person may experience all sickle cell disease symptoms, ranging from mild to severe.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    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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