A main feature of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) is that they cause low blood cell counts. Sometimes this is found on blood tests, even before symptoms appear. In other cases, symptoms related to shortages of one or more types of blood cells (cytopenias) are the first sign of MDS:
Other symptoms can include:
These symptoms are more likely to be caused by something other than MDS. Still, if you have any of these symptoms, especially if they don’t go away or get worse over time, see your doctor so that the cause can be found and treated, if needed.
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Aster JC, Stone RM. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of the myelodysplastic syndromes. UpToDate. 2017. Accessed at https://www.uptodate.com/contents/clinical-manifestations-and-diagnosis-of-the-myelodysplastic-syndromes on October 4, 2017.
Komrokji RS, Padron E, List AF. Chapter 111: Myelodysplastic syndromes. In: DeVita VT, Lawrence TS, Rosenberg SA, eds. DeVita, Hellman, and Rosenberg’s Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2015.
Steensma DP, Stone RM. Chapter 99: Myelodysplastic syndromes. In: Abeloff MD, Armitage JO, Niederhuber JE. Kastan MB, McKenna WG, eds. Abeloff’s Clinical Oncology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier; 2014.
Last Revised: January 22, 2018