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Bone Marrow Failure Causes, treatment approaches, terminology, related diseases

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Old Thu Sep 14, 2017, 06:51 PM
AliceKay1 AliceKay1 is offline
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MDS and "blasts"

Can someone please tell me what are "blasts" and how do they relate to the numbers I see in the results of a blood test?
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Old Thu Sep 14, 2017, 07:55 PM
Neil Cuadra Neil Cuadra is online now
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AliceKay1,

Blasts are immature white blood cells that form in your bone marrow. When everything is normal, there's a small percentage of them present, less than 5% of your bone marrow cells at any given time. As the blasts mature, they enter your bloodstream as the various types of mature white blood cells.

When things aren't working correctly, blasts can fail to mature, and you end up with 5% or more blasts in your bone marrow. Some blasts can get into your bloodstream too. The more there are, the more serious the MDS is (generally speaking).

When you have a complete blood count (CBC) test, they check what's in your blood. If they see blasts, that's a sign that something is unusual. However, the diagnosis of the various types of MDS is based on a more important test: the bone marrow biopsy. That's where they measure the percentage of blasts in your bone marrow.

Your doctor can tell you what percentage of blasts were found in your bone marrow in the last bone marrow biopsy. It's worth knowing what the percentage is. If you have multiple bone marrow biopsy tests over time, you'll want to know if the percentage of blasts is increasing or decreasing.

You might this glossary handy, since it's specific to bone marrow diseases like MDS.
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