NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Myelodysplastic Syndromes

8 NCCN Guidelines for Patients ® : Myelodysplastic Syndromes, 2018 1 Myelodysplastic syndromes The blood cells Illustration Copyright © 2017 Nucleus Medical Media, All rights reserved. Figure 1 Blood cells in bone marrow Bone marrow is the soft, sponge-like tissue in the center of most bones. Blood stem cells in the bone marrow make all types of blood cells. You’ve learned that you have or may have MDS ( m yelo d ysplastic s yndromes). Part 1 explains some basics about this cancer that may help you learn about it and start to cope. This information may also help you start planning for treatment. The blood cells Blood is made up of a combination of cells and fluid, which is mostly water. The cells in the body are divided into three main types: † † Platelets help control bleeding. † † Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body. † † White blood cells help fight germs and infections. Each type of blood cell has a different job. Blood cells grow up in the bone marrow, which acts like a garden in which cells grow from the youngest cell type (which exist in small numbers) to adult cells (which are ready to be born) and do their proper jobs. Bone marrow is the soft tissue in the center of most bones. See Figure 1. The most immature blood- forming cells are called stem cells or hematopoietic stem cells. Blood stem cells have the potential to become any type of mature blood cell.