Fanconi Anemia Facts
Fanconi anemia (FA) is a very rare, inherited blood disorder that stops the bone marrow from making enough new blood cells. This bone marrow failure disease can lead to anemia (not enough red blood cells) or aplastic anemia (not enough red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets). It also causes the bone marrow to make abnormal blood cells, which can lead to serious health problems such as a blood cancer called leukemia.
Because the FA gene defect occurs in all cells—not just blood cells—this disease can also affect many of your body's organs, tissues, and systems. For example, children who inherit FA are at higher risk of birth defects, growth problems, hearing loss, and abnormal hearts and gastrointestinal tracts. They are also at risk for solid (non-blood) cancers and other serious health problems.
FA is a complex, life-long, and multi-system disease. Many demands are placed on the patients, families, friends, and providers who are dealing with this serious genetic disorder. The Fanconi Anemia Center can help you learn more about the disease, provide you with genetic and family counseling, and offer you lifelong support with comprehensive care, specialized treatments, and advanced research.
Fanconi anemia is usually diagnosed in children before they are 12 years old, although a diagnosis in adults is also possible. Learn about the symptoms and how the disease is diagnosed in this section.
A Fanconi anemia diagnosis is always a shock. Learn all you can about the disease. The most important decision you'll make is where to get care.
FA is inherited. People develop FA disease when they have two copies of the same FA gene.
Fanconi anemia is a rare disease, but new studies and treatments are being discovered. Read this section to learn more.