Blood Cancer Awareness Month – Breathlessness #ThinkMDS


September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month and this year, the MDS Alliance is running a 4-week campaign #ThinkMDS.

#ThinkMDS aims to raise awareness of blood cancer, and specifically MDS, a rare group of blood cancers. The focus is for people (particularly Health Care professionals and care-givers) to spot the symptoms of MDS and to take next actions quickly. Fast action enables better treatment and faster diagnosis.

Blood Cancer Awareness Month 2022 - Breathlessness #ThinkMDS

Blood Cancer Awareness Month 2022 - #ThinkMDS

Feeling breathless after little exertion is one of the signs of MDS.

A complete blood count can determine if further action is required. So if patients report feeling breathless after a small amount of exertion, #ThinkMDS and #OrderaBloodCount

If you spot the symptoms #ThinkMDS #OrderaBloodCount


  • A Complete Blood Count (CBC) via your GP can easily determine if further investigation into MDS is needed. #OrderaBloodCount
Complete Blood Count test


A Complete Blood Count (CBC) is a very common blood test that is often part of a routine checkup. The test counts the cells that make up your blood: red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets and the results can determine if further investigation into MDS is required. #OrderaBloodCount


About Myelodysplasic syndromes (MDS), a group of rare blood cancers

Myelodysplasic syndromes (MDS) are a group of rare blood cancers where patients don't have enough healthy blood cells.  Symptoms vary from person to person and depend on which blood cells are low.  About 8 in 10 patients have anaemia, whilst about 2 in 10 present to their doctor with infections or bleeding.

  • Anaemia is due to a lack of red cells (also referred to as a low haemoglobin), which may lead to fatigue and shortness of breath even on light exertion.
  • Recurrent and persistent infections are another common symptom of MDS, due to low white cell counts.
  • When your platelet count is low, you can suffer from easy bruising and bleeding. This can sometimes manifest itself as a rash on the skin. These are tiny bleedings under the skin called petechiae and often appear where clothes are tight fitted, like around the ankles or waist. Nose or gum bleeds can also be a sign of a low platelet count.
  • Some MDS patients have no signs or symptoms, and are diagnosed by chance as a result of a routine blood test.

As a support group, we have seen hundreds of cases where diagnosis of MDS was delayed. Delays means impaired quality of life for most patients, frequent infections, and for some, a worse prognosis.

If you notice these signs - #ThinkMDS #OrderaBloodCount

  • September 2022: Week 1 - Bruising
  • September 2022: Week 2 - Fatigue
  • September 2022: Week 3 - Breathlessness
  • September 2022: Week 4 - Weakness



Blood Cancer Awareness Month: 2022 Breathlessness  #ThinkMDS



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