Myelodysplastic Syndrome Diagnosis & Treatment in NJ, CT, and MD

Myelodysplastic syndromes are cancers that stem from the development of abnormal blood cells. Symptoms vary widely between patients, ranging from non-existent to debilitating. There are many myelodysplastic syndromes, each with different treatment requirements. Serving patients across New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, and the Washington, D.C. area, Regional Cancer Care Associates provides comprehensive, cutting-edge treatment of the full range of myelodysplastic syndromes.

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What Are Myelodysplastic Syndromes?

Myelodysplastic syndromes are a group of cancerous conditions that involve irregularities in blood cell production within the bone marrow. Bone marrow is the part of the body that produces red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Myelodysplastic syndromes develop due to a dysfunction in blood cell production. . Eventually, patients can collect abundant immature cells in various organs. This can prevent the bone marrow from creating new cells, decreasing the number of healthy cells available to fight off infections and playing other roles in preserving health. Left untreated, myelodysplastic syndrome can lead to other disorders, including thrombocytopenia, anemia, or leukopenia.

Symptoms of Myelodysplastic Syndrome

Symptoms of myelodysplastic syndromes vary widely between patients. In the early stages of the disease, some patients do not have any symptoms. However, symptoms can appear and worsen as myelodysplastic syndrome progresses. Common signs include:

  • Recurring infections
  • Fatigue
  • Small, red dots under the surface of the skin
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Random bleeding or bruising
  • Pale skin
  • Anemia

Different Myelodysplastic Syndromes

There are many types of myelodysplastic syndromes. To identify which one may be present, physicians typically examine the shape and makeup of blood cells under a microscope. Types of myelodysplastic syndromes include:

  • Myelodysplastic syndrome with single-lineage dysplasia: This condition is diagnosed when patients have issues with one specific type of blood cell – red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets. It can cause low or unusual levels of one type of blood cell. In rare cases, patients may develop acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
  • Myelodysplastic syndrome with multilineage dysplasia: This is when two or three types of blood cells (red cells, white cells, or platelets) have unusual properties. This is the most common form of myelodysplastic syndrome.
  • Myelodysplastic syndrome with ring sideroblasts: In this form of the disease, there are low levels of one or many types of blood cells. Many patients with this disease collect added iron in their red blood cells. This is a rare form of myelodysplastic syndrome.
  • Myelodysplastic syndrome with isolated del: This form typically results in low red blood cell levels. However, patients can also have low white blood cell and platelet levels. In addition, this syndrome can genetically modify cells by eliminating essential chromosomes.
  • Myelodysplastic syndrome with excess blasts: This includes any condition that causes red blood cell, white blood cell, or platelet levels to decrease. The bone marrow and blood can harbor abundant immature blood cells (called blasts). Patients with this disease may also have bone marrow dysplasia, and it can potentially cause AML.

Diagnosing Myelodysplastic Syndromes

Evaluation of patients with symptoms that may indicate a myelodysplastic disorder begins with a thorough history and comprehensive medical examination. Physicians also will order a complete blood count (CBC) test. In some cases, physicians may also order a bone marrow biopsy or other tests as part of the diagnostic process.

Treating Myelodysplastic Syndromes at Regional Cancer Care Associates

Physicians typically work to control and manage symptoms, as well as to slow the progression of the disease. If a patient is not experiencing symptoms, doctors may delay treatment and observe the patient’s condition through regular check-ups and testing. However, if symptoms worsen, doctors may recommend the following:

  • Blood transfusion
  • Medications
  • Bone marrow transplant

With more than 20 locations in NJ, CT, MD, and the Washington D.C. area, Regional Cancer Care Associates offers comprehensive, compassionate, and convenient care for people with myelodysplastic syndrome. To learn more about treatment, contact us or request an appointment today.

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Schedule an Appointment at Regional Cancer Care Associates

If you need near-term or ongoing care for anemia or another benign blood disorder, schedule an appointment at Regional Cancer Care Associates. Patients have access to a full range of services acrossNew Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, and the Washington, DC area, making it easy to find a location convenient for you. Contact us today to learn more about our benign hematology services.

 

Regional Cancer Care Associates is one of fewer than 200 medical practices in the country selected to participate in the Oncology Care Model (OCM); a recent Medicare initiative aimed at improving care coordination and access to and quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries undergoing chemotherapy treatment.