Myelodysplastic syndromes are diagnosed based on certain changes in the blood cells and bone marrow. Doctors will perform tests to determine these changes.

Following are the most common tests and procedures given to diagnose myelodysplastic syndromes:

Physical Exam - An exam of the body to check general signs of health, including checking for signs of disease, such as lumps or anything else that seems unusual.

Complete Blood Count (CBC) With Differential - A procedure in which a sample of blood is drawn and checked for the numbers of red and white blood cells, the number of platelets, the amount of hemoglobin in the red blood cells and the portion of the blood sample that is made up of red blood cells.

Peripheral Blood Smear - A procedure in which a sample of blood is checked for changes in the number, type, shape, and size of blood cells and for too much iron in the red blood cells.

Cytogenetic Analysis - A test in which cells in a sample of blood or bone marrow are viewed under a microscope to look for certain changes in the chromosomes.

Bone Marrow Aspiration and Biopsy - The removal of bone marrow, blood, and a small piece of bone by inserting a hollow needle into the hipbone or breastbone.

Once the results from the test or procedure are returned you will be able to make thoughtful decisions. Please see Newly Diagnosed  for information on being patient active, treatment decisions, partnering with your healthcare team and finding support. 

Receiving a cancer diagnosis is difficult. Please see Caregivers and/or Online Support for more information on how the Cancer Support Community can offer support.

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