Myelodysplastic Syndrome Life Expectancy: Complications

posted in: Life Expectancy | 11

Blood cells with Myelodysplastic syndrome.Myelodysplastic syndrome can pertain to one of several disorders that stem from the misproduction of blood cells. It primarily appears in the elderly, so myelodysplastic syndrome life expectancy is not too different from what a normal person’s life expectancy. There may be no easy cure but that doesn’t mean it can’t be treated. Most often a permanent cure is afforded from a bone marrow transplant, however this is to be decided upon by triage.

The classic symptom of any myelodysplastic syndrome is a reduction in the number of healthy blood cells. This, of course, does not mean that myelodysplastic syndrome is the cause of the reduction, which is why further tests are performed. Sometimes, myelodysplastic syndrome does not even display problematic symptoms, and is only identified upon a routine blood count.

Problems leading to complications of the many myelodysplastic syndromes include:

    • Anemia. This is not a symptom unique to myelodysplastic syndrome, but it is a result of the lack of proper cells in the blood stream. Anemia can lead to dizziness, shortness of breath, chronic fatigue, and sometimes chills. This is because the red cells in the blood that give it the distinct color it is known for are produced insufficiently, and therefore the organs that need oxygen, carried by the red blood cells, lack it, leading to an inability to generate energy. If this is the only symptom so far, then it would be prudent to simply observe the progression. This can sometimes be treated by giving iron supplements, but not always.

  • Neutropenia. A decreased production of neutrophils (a form of white blood cell) leads to a lowered immune system response. White blood cells are part of our immune systems, and neutrophils are the white blood cell most present at any acute inflammation. They secrete substances to inflame the surrounding tissues, as well as directly devour invading microbes, release substances to destroy microbes, and lay traps to ensnare the invading microbes and prevent their further spread. This vital function is impaired if the body cannot produce enough blood cells.
  • Thrombocytopenia. Thrombocytes, also known as platelets, are vital to blood clotting and wound repair. A deficiency of working platelets will lead to delayed wound healing. Coupled with the neutropenia listed above, this can cause wounds to delay healing as well as increase the risk of infection.
  • You should test your blood in Myelodysplastic syndrome.Splenomegaly. The spleen filters out malformed red blood cells to maintain the overall quality of red blood cells in circulation, as well as recycle the components of the red blood cells it destroyed. Myelodysplastic syndromes not only decrease the number of functioning blood cells but increase the number of malformed, non-functional blood cells. This means that the spleen needs to do more work, and for most organs, when they need to do more work, the organ enlarges in a process known as hypertrophy. This applies to the spleen as well. Splenomegaly could result in death if the area that the enlarged spleen will occupy is percussed hard enough. To put that amount of force into context it’s like knocking on a door to produce a moderately loud rap. The spleen, if ruptured, will hemorrhage and cause enough internal bleeding, leading to death in minutes.
  • Acute myeloid leukemia. Not technically a symptom but this is the ultimate fate of myelodysplastic syndrome. Once this appears the prognosis worsens. The patient typically has at most a year, and that’s being optimistic.

It must be emphasized that while myelodysplastic syndrome is most likely a terminal illness, it should not be very restrictive on the quality of life. Thanks to our advances in medicine, therapies and cures for the more fatal variants are possible. Myelodysplastic syndrome life expectancy can be higher if detected early and treated well.


11 Responses

  1. Henry Nilson

    Very helpful, giving out the main problems succinctly. Thank you.

  2. Ron Stark

    I don’t like the tone of this. Do you mean to say that if you cure the symptoms, you cure the disease?

  3. Henrietta

    It is very interesting to read about this disease. So, it is not easy to detect but only comes late in life. Thanks for the information.

  4. Caldwell

    I have this disease and I am counting my days. But I am getting the best treatment, thanks to my family.

  5. One of my cousins died of leukemia. This is a dreadful disease that can attack anyone.

  6. I had a young cousin who had neutropenia. He died when he was 10 years old. Having knowledge is sometimes not enough. Thanks for the article, makes me remember him again.

  7. Blood related diseases frighten me. But reading about it now I feel that there are good things in life too but we must take care against the bad ones. Thanks.

  8. Peter Kapo

    My friend got this problem and went on without taking treatment. Suddenly one day she fall down and then doctor is telling she has no white blood very less. She is recovered now and having medicines.

  9. Derrick

    Splenomegaly seems to be very dangerous. I find this information very useful. Thanks a lot for writing about this.

  10. Freddy

    Myelodysplastic syndrome can happen to anyone, is that right?

  11. Administration

    Not exactly. This affects the elderly people. So, young people need not get scared by this ailment.

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