Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS)

Myelodysplastic syndromes are a group of blood cancers. You might also hear doctors call them myelodysplasia or MDS for short. With these syndromes, the bone marrow doesn’t work properly and makes abnormal blood cells. Some people with MDS do not need treatment for many years.

Some people with MDS go on to develop acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). How they progress depends on:

  • the type of MDS
  • the risk of that type changing into AML

We have information on the different types of MDS, the treatments that are available and where to get support to help you cope.

What are myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS)?

Myelodysplastic syndromes are also called myelodysplasia or MDS. In MDS the bone marrow doesn’t work properly and produces abnormal blood cells. 

Tests and treatment for myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS)

The main tests for MDS are blood and bone marrow tests. 

Coping with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)

Getting practical, and emotional support may help you to cope with a diagnosis of MDS.

Last reviewed: 
10 Nov 2023
Next review due: 
10 Nov 2026