There are a number of risk factors for myelodyplastic syndrome, including:
- Older age. Older age is one of the most important risk factors for MDS. It is uncommon to develop myelodyplastic syndrome under the age of 50, and most cases are found in people in their 70s or 80s.
- Gender. Myelodyplastic syndrome is more co mmon among men than women.
- Chemotherapy. Patients that have been treated with certain chemo drugs for cancer are more likely to develop myelodyplastic syndrome.
- Smoking. Smoking increases the risk of myelodyplastic syndrome. While many people know that smoking can cause lung cancer, it is also detrimental to other parts of your body and can lead to other forms of cancer.
- Underlying myeloproliferative disease. Sometimes this disease will progresses slowly and requires little treatment, while in other cases it may develop into acute myeloid leukemia and require additional care from your doctors.
Symptoms of myelodysplastic syndrome often do not experience symptoms, but if so they include:
- Shortness of breath.
Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any persistent signs and symptoms that worry you.