Myelodysplastic syndromes are groups of cancers in which undeveloped blood cells in the bone marrow never mature or become healthy. In healthy people, these blood cells eventually mature and grow out of their blood stems, according to the National Cancer Institute.
There are different types of MDS, such as refractionary anemia, which leads to the shortage of red blood cells in an individual's blood supply, causing anemia. Additionally, there are risk factors that range from past chemotherapy treatment to exposure to certain metals, such as mercury and lead. Furthermore, recognized symptoms of MDS include shortness of breath as well as easy bruising and bleeding.