Myelodysplastic Syndrome Overview

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Causes, Risk Factors, and Prevention TOPICS

Can myelodysplastic syndromes be prevented?

Not smoking can lower the risk of getting myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) as well as the risk for many other cancers, heart disease, stroke, and other diseases.

Doctors are looking at ways to lower the risk of MDS in patients who need to have chemotherapy (chemo) and radiation. In some cancers, doctors may try to avoid using the drugs that are more likely to lead to MDS. But the clear benefits of treating serious cancers with chemo and radiation must be balanced against the small chance of getting MDS years later.

People should avoid dangerous chemicals in the workplace. But most people with MDS do not have any known exposure to these substances.

Last Medical Review: 02/27/2014
Last Revised: 04/03/2014