How long can you live with myelodysplasia?

Myelodysplasia, also known as myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), is a blood disorder that affects the bone marrow’s ability to produce healthy blood cells. It’s a serious condition, but how long can you live with it? Let’s find out!

What is Myelodysplasia?

Before we get into survival rates and life expectancies, let’s first define what myelodysplasia is.

Myelo-what now? My-el-o-ds-pla-sia in simpler terms refers to abnormal growth or development of blood cells in the bone marrow which eventually leads to low counts of one or more types of blood cells produced by the affected bone marrow.

The symptoms depend on an individual’s type of MDS & overall health. However typical symptoms are similar among individuals: fatigue, easy bruising and bleeding even after mild injury (like getting stung by tiny bee).

Types of Myeldosplanias

There are 5 different types depending upon certain factors like mutations present in your chromosomes etc:
Refractory Anaemia
Refractory anaemia Ringed sideroblasts
Refractory cytopenia with multilineage dysphagia
This has many subtypes.

Fun Fact about RARS: Commonly called “RS,” this subtype results from abnormal iron accumulation within red cell precursors called megakaryocytes. FYI Megakaryocyte are large polyploid precursor cells which differentiate themselves into platelets.

Life Expectancy for Someone with Mylodisplanaisa

There isn’t any one answer that applies across the board because every case may vary based on various factors. The best way to describe it though would be as shown below:

| MDS Status         | Median Survival Time |
| ---------------------- | ------------------------- |
| Low Risk MDS        |   Around 5-7 years       |
| Intermediate Risk MDS  |   Around 3.5 years      |
| High-Risk MDS            |   Approximately a year or less |

It’s vital to understand that treatment is an integral part of survival rates for those diagnosed with myelodysplasia.

Why Does Treatment Help?

Without Tx, our cells face more genetic errors while tending to differentiate which increases the chance of cell death thus eventually leading to tumor formation.

1.Recommended Treatment Options
There are quite several treatment options available depending upon various factors such as age & overall health however commonly used ones are:


More often than not, it’s essential for individuals grappling with low blood counts because body lacks ability to compensate on its own
(Its like you emptying your pocket and finding no coins left just after buying forever required candy bar at Gas station ).

  1. Chemotherapy

Akin to the one administered for treating cancer, sometimes lower dose (to get rid off aneuploid stem cells) is given depending on severity i.e High risk myelodysplasia or when said individual has developed Acute Myeloid Leukemia (most common outcome of untreated Mds is secondary AML or sAML ).

  1. Bone marrow transplantation

This surgery involves replacing unhealthy bone marrows with healthy donors in order to produce normal blood-forming cells though carrying out this procedure means using medications (immunosuppressants) alongside which deplete white blood-cell count making recipient susceptible towards infections (I see you nodding thinking about that time flu found it ultra appealing when near around everyone else remained unhurt)

The survival depends also on patients comoribidities & cognitive functioning etc Therefore although listed meds have got different cure rate but they come along with their respective demerits as well, i.e High frequency of infection & /or fatigue or combination. Thus it’s important that someone with myelodysplasia discuss which option is right for them and weigh risks alongside probable outcomes when being directed to undergo some therapy.

Risk Factors Associated With Myelodysplasia

While an individual may still get affected by myelodysplasia despite not having any particular risk factors present in their life however there are various known factors:

  • Age – individuals above 60 yrs of age more prone
  • Smoking cigarettes – everyone agrees nothing great comes outta puffing stuff.
  • Alcohol consumption because your liver would hate you anyways
    (As to say on behalf of ur liver,I am def Not strong enough for this)

    FYI : Liver is the guy who has a difficult job processing alcohol every time we consume resulting in cirrhosis if we overburden em.

  • Family history because genes do play role often!

    Quick fun grematical fact:

Notice how using ‘do’ helps realize a distinction between passive/aggressive statements like “genes play [an active] role” unlike without it sounding way docile.

If you’ve got any pointing towards anyone related suffering from MDS then try learning about ways to reduce upcoming risks from genetic testing clinics since awareness’s priceless!

Living with Mylodisplanaisa

Receiving diagnosis stating that one suffers through an unusual condition can be overwhelming (yet another reason why I support carrying chocolate bars ) leading stress levels high but no stressing yourself won’t have affect on improving what’s take place within your bone marrow.What does help though? Proper dietary precautions (increasing iron rich foods) along with activity routine according to tolerance are favorable changes; remember regular physical activity helps reduces chronic fatigue syndrome (treatment induced fatgue) thus physically keeps us intact!

Here few tips to remember:

  • Ask as many questions to your healthcare provider
  • Stay Informed: especially if one suffers from intermediate/high risk myelodysplasia, it’s essential to have more consistent evals such that potential secondary outcomes or comorbidities will get caught way earlier
    (Early bird catches the worm, in Such contexts :))

Do's & Dont's With Mylodisplanaisa)


To wrap up its worthy of mentioning again that certain lifestyle changes might help manage MDS better however just like other cancers it may present variable survival rates based on severity & subtype with therapy playing integral role.
So, for some a good few years can be added/maintained and for others adjustments maybe required but never let numbers decide what gets put away instead do everything you can to live healthy life(as being human is not about how long we’ve lived but how beautifully we’ve survived tornadic storms infested with muddled Moths!)