Preleukemia is now known as Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS). This is a blood related condition, where there is ineffective production of blood cells. In other words, in this condition, sufficient quantity of blood cells are not produced by the bone marrow. Not only does the blood cell count goes down, the quality of the blood forming cells also falls and the harm done is often irreversible. Like I have previously mentioned, this condition is more common in adults above the age of 50. Men are often more affected with this condition as opposed to women. The first noticeable of the symptoms is anemia. The condition worsens when the blood cell count dips, caused due to bone marrow failure.
Symptoms of Preleukemia
When a person is affected with preleukemia, the blood cells do not mature and die a sudden death. The blood cells can be red blood cells, white blood cells or platelets. All the blood cells are affected with this condition.
Due to decline in the number of red blood cells, the patient suffers from chronic anemia. He finds it difficult to perform even the basic day-to-day activities. In some cases, he may also suffer from breathlessness even after speaking a few words or doing some basic routine activities. This is often caused, when there is lack of oxygen in the body due to depletion of red blood cells. He may also complain of chest pain, chilled sensation often caused due to anemia.
One of the preleukemia signs is weak immune system. The patient finds it very difficult to ward off infection. Once an infection is contracted, it becomes very difficult to get rid of the infection as well.
The patient, suffering from this condition, is prone to infection, due to low immunity or due to lack of white blood cells, which are known to battle infections. Hence, it is common to see the patient suffering from cold, cough and high fever. When the patient is on antibiotics, the infection seems to subside, however, as soon as the dosage is over, it is seen, that the infection crawls back in. Often if the infection is not treated well in time, the patient becomes susceptible to upper respiratory infections, like pneumonia, bronchitis, etc.
Bleeding and Bruising
When a patient is suffering from preleukemia, his platelet count also dips along with the red blood cells and the white blood cells. Hence, the patient is susceptible to unexplained bruising. It may be seen, that the patient continues to bleed even with a minor cut and the blood may not clot, due to lack of blood platelets in the body.
Fever and Headache
Although the patient is susceptible to infection, it is often seen, that he is suffering from fever and headache for no apparent reason (even without infection). It is often difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of fever and headache in such patients. According to some physicians, the fever and headache are as a result of anemia in the patients. Due to prolonged nature of fever, it becomes very difficult to diagnose the exact problem with the patient.
If preleukemia prognosis of a patient is studied, it reveals that there are some other symptoms, which may also be seen in the patient. Fatigue, dizziness, etc., are the most prominent of the symptoms.
Preleukemia treatment depends on the condition of the patient and the preleukemia symptoms displayed. In some cases, the transformation may be seen even in a few weeks time. The preleukemia life expectancy varies according to the complications displayed by each patient. It is seen that almost 50% of the deaths caused due to preleukemia are because of the bleeding or infections. It is important not to neglect the symptoms, to ensure that the patient is treated well on time.