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Fanconi Anemia

Fanconi anemia is an inherited blood disorder that causes a decreased number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets (pancytopenia) and that can also result in birth defects and an increased risk of cancer. The disease may also cause problems with the heart or kidneys and abnormalities of the arms and legs.

Children and adults with Fanconi anemia usually have short stature, and other growth measurements may also be below normal. Other common problems include bleeding episodes and easy bruising, hormonal problems, and infertility.

Fanconi anemia is usually diagnosed during childhood, and many children with this disease do not survive beyond young adulthood.

There is no treatment for the cause of Fanconi anemia. Support groups and counseling may be helpful for families of children with Fanconi anemia. Genetic testing is recommended to identify carriers of the disease and help guide decisions about having children.

Last Revised: March 28, 2012

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Patrice Burgess, MD - Family Medicine & Siobhan M. Dolan, MD, MPH - Reproductive Genetics

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