A rare form of “pre-cancer” of the bone marrow, interfering with its ability to produce blood cells. Sometimes it produces defective cells, sometimes it just doesn’t produce enough. This can leave a patient at risk of infection, cause Anemia, or bruising; the danger is if it turns into Leukemia.
Myelodysplasia is almost always a disease of the elderly. Patients may have no symptoms at all at first, just an abnormal result on a routine complete blood count (CBC) lab test. Diagnosis is eventually made by a bone marrow biopsy — aspirating a sample from the pelvic bone. There are lots of different forms of myelodysplasia, some mild and some severe. Treatments vary enormously.