Aplastic anaemia occurs when the bone marrow produces too few of all three types of blood cells: red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. A reduced number of red blood cells causes a drop in haemoglobin. A reduced number of white blood cells makes the patient susceptible to infection. A reduced number of platelets means that the blood does not clot as well as it should.
Myeloproliferative disorders (MPNs)
Myeloproliferative disorders are a group of rare conditions that cause blood cells in the bone marrow, including red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets, to grow and develop abnormally.
Myeloproliferative disorders occur when the body makes too many of one or more types of blood cells. The reason for this is not known. Researchers believe that genetics and/or the environment may play a role in the development of these disorders.
Myeloproliferative disorders are serious diseases. Complications from these disorders can be fatal. A person's survival rate depends on the type of myeloproliferative disorder they have and the severity of their illness.
Although there is no cure for myeloproliferative disorders, treatment can help patients live for several years after diagnosis.
What is essential thrombocythemia (ET)?
Essential thrombocythemia is a chronic condition in which the patient's bone marrow makes too many platelets. The excess platelets increase the risk of blood clots, which can lead to strokes and heart attacks. The condition most commonly affects people over the age of 50 but rarely affects children.
Myelofibrosis (Agnogenic Myeloid Metaplasia or AMM)
Myelofibrosis - also known as agnogenic myeloid metaplasia (AMM), myelosclerosis, chronic idiopathic myelofibrosis, idiopathic myelofibrosis, myelosclerosis with myeloid metaplasia and primary myelofibrosis - is a type of cancer that starts in the bone marrow.
Polycythemia vera is a rare blood disorder in which there is an increase in all blood cells, especially red blood cells. The increase in blood cells makes the blood more viscous (thick), which can lead to strokes or damage to tissues and organs.
What is a myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)?
Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a group of disorders in which immature blood cells (called blasts) build up in the bone marrow. This leads to a shortage of mature blood cells, including red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. In addition, the mature blood cells that are made may not work properly. Although MDS can affect people of any age, the average age of onset is around 70.
MDS syndromes include
·5q syndrome (named after the chromosomal defect that causes the symptoms)
·MDS with myelofibrosis
·MDS with marked eosinophilia or monocytosis
MDS and leukaemia
MDS is generally an indolent (slow-moving) cancer. It can remain stable for a long time, but about 30% of the time it is a precursor of a more advanced condition, such as acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) For this reason, MDS is sometimes called a smoldering leukaemia or pre-leukaemia.