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Myelodysplastic Syndromes

The information in this section about myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) can help you talk with members of your healthcare team and take an active role in your treatment. Knowing what to expect and being able to make informed decisions about your cancer treatment are important aspects of coping with your disease. You can skim sections to find what you want to read now - and continue reading whenever you're ready for more information.

What You Should Know

  • MDS is a diagnosis of cancer.
  • Hematologists and oncologists are specialists who treat people who have MDS or other types of blood cancer.
  • Treatment outcomes vary widely among patients; results depend on many individual factors.

What You Should Do

  • Seek treatment in a cancer center where doctors are experienced treating patients with MDS.
  • Talk with your doctor about your diagnostic tests and what the results mean.
  • Ask your doctor whether a clinical trial is a good treatment option for you.

What Is MDS?

The term "myelodysplastic syndromes" (MDS) is used to describe a group of diseases of the blood and bone marrow, with varying degrees of severity, treatment needs and life expectancy.

MDS may be primary (de novo) or treatment-related. Primary MDS has no obvious cause. Treatment-related MDS has an obvious cause.

LLS Support Services

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) offers many ways to help you cope, from live telephone support to family support groups to online chats and more. To learn more about our free programs for patients, family members and caregivers, see Get Information and Support.

We also offer free informational publications and education programs, such as:

  • disease and treatment guides for MDS
  • the MDS Education Series featuring the latest information about each disease type and treatment options
  • eNewsline, a monthly eNewsletter with the latest information about blood cancer research and treatment, LLS events, news and featured LLS programs and comments from individuals coping with blood cancer

Source: Myelodysplastic Syndromes. Reviewed by Elihu H. Estey, MD.

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last updated on Monday, May 20, 2013
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