The symptoms of myelodysplasia include fatigue, easy bruising and bleeding, skin paleness as a result of anemia, and breath shortness, according to Mayo Clinic. Others include vulnerability to frequent infections and red spots under the skin due to bleeding. However, myelodysplasia may not cause any symptoms during its early stages.
Myelodysplasia, or myelodysplastic syndrome, is a blood disorder that results from the production of defective blood cells by the bone marrow, explains Mayo Clinic. The condition occurs following a disruption of the bone marrow. When the malformed cells increase in number, they overshadow healthy blood cells, causing symptoms. Depending on the type of blood cells that are affected, myelodysplasia can be divided into various types including refractory cytopenia with unilineage dysplasia, refractory anemia with excess blasts, refractory anemia with ringed sideroblasts and refractory cytopenia with multilineage dysplasia. The risk factors that may predispose an individual to myelodysplasia include exposure to radiotherapy and chemotherapy, exposure to harmful chemicals such as tobacco smoke and benzene, and older age, usually above 60 years.
It is advisable to seek medical attention once the symptoms and signs of myelodysplasia appear, says Mayo Clinic. A doctor may perform a blood test or a bone marrow test to diagnose myelodysplasia and recommend a suitable treatment option, including blood transfusion, bone marrow stem cell transplant and medications.