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Myelodysplastic Syndrome Prevention and Screening

Myelodysplastic Syndrome Screening

Cancer screening exams are important medical tests done when you’re healthy and don’t have symptoms. They help find cancer at its earliest stage, when the chances for curing it are best. Unfortunately, no standardized screening tests have been shown to improve myelodysplastic syndrome outcomes.

Myelodysplastic Syndrome Risk Factors

Anything that increases your chance of getting a disease is a risk factor. Most cases of myelodysplastic syndrome have no known cause, but some factors have been found to increase the risk.

Risk factors for myelodysplastic syndrome include:

  • Age: MDS rarely occurs in people younger than 60
  • Smoking tobacco
  • Long-term exposure to chemicals, including benzene or other chemicals used in the petroleum and rubber industries
  • Exposure to high levels of radiation, such a nuclear reactor accident or atomic bomb
  • Prior chemotherapy or radiation therapy
  • Inherited disorders, including:
    • Fanconi anemia
    • Shwachman-Diamond syndromes
    • Familial platelet disorder
    • Severe congenital neutropenia

Not everyone with risk factors gets MDS. However, if you have risk factors, it’s a good idea to discuss them with your health care provider.

If you are concerned about inherited family syndromes that may cause myelodysplastic syndrome, we offer advanced genetic testing to let you know your risk.

Call 1-877-632-6789 to make an appointment or request an appointment online.

Why Choose MD Anderson?

  • Internationally known myelodysplastic syndrome program
  • More experience with myelodysplastic syndrome than most centers
  • Close collaboration with referring physicians
  • Innovative myelodysplastic syndrome therapies, including access to new agents and “mini” stem cell transplants
  • Clinical trials of new treatments for myelodysplastic syndrome that may not be available elsewhere
  • Myelodysplastic syndrome is part of MD Anderson's Moon Shots Program: an ambitious effort to reduce cancer deaths through the rapid discovery of new treatments

Myelodysplastic Syndrome Knowledge Center

Treatment at MD Anderson

Myelodysplastic syndrome is treated in our:

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Myelodysplastic Syndrome Prevention

Since the exact cause of myelodysplastic syndrome is not known, there are no known lifestyle changes to lower the risk of developing the disease. Avoiding tobacco may help lower your risk.

Research shows that many cancers can be prevented. Visit the Prevention section of our website to find out steps you can take to avoid cancer.


© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center