Blood Disorders

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Fanconi anemia

Fanconi anemia (FA) is a rare, inherited blood disorder that causes your bone marrow to stop making enough new blood cells for your body to work normally. It can also cause your bone marrow to make many abnormal blood cells, which can lead to serious health problems, such as cancer. FA can affect many of your body's organs, tissues, and systems. Children who inherit FA are at higher risk of being born with birth defects. People with FA are at higher risk for some cancers and other serious health problems. As an inherited disease, children can be tested if one of their brothers or sisters has the disease.

Symptoms include:

  • Anemia
  • Bone marrow failure
  • Birth defects in the bones, eyes, ears, skin, kidneys, heart
  • Developmental or eating problems

    Other symptoms of FA are related to physical and mental development:

  • Low birth weight
  • Poor appetite
  • Slower growth than other children
  • Lower than normal height
  • Small head size
  • Mental retardation or learning disabilities

    Symptoms of adult FA in women include:

  • Female sex organs that are less developed than normal
  • Menstruation starts later than women who don't have FA
  • Menopause starts earlier than women who don't have FA
  • Difficulty becoming pregnant and carrying a pregnancy to full term

    Symptoms of adult FA in men:

  • Male sex organs are less developed
  • May be less fertile than men who don't have the disease.