Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is a group of disorders that strongly affects the bone marrow and the production of blood cells. When the bone marrow does not produce enough number of healthy blood cells, the human body can be severely affected. When left unchecked, myelodysplastic syndrome is known to be a life-altering disease. A number of extensive medical researches have not been able to discover and develop a permanent cure for MDS. Health care physicians and scientists can offer only several methods of supportive care as treatment that are designed to relieve the symptoms of myelodysplastic syndrome.
What are the Risk Factors Linked to MDS?
Most myelodysplastic syndrome risk factors are discovered through clinical trials, numerous patient testing, and researches. These risk factors have assisted doctors to find more effective treatment methods for myelodysplastic syndrome patients - and also helped to educate the public on ways to avoid getting MDS. However, risk factors are not accurate as preventative measures. People who have several risk factors do not mean they will get ill. And having no risk factors at all does not ensure a person is safe from MDS. Smoking, exposure to environmental toxins such as benzene, and certain cancer treatments are some of the common risk factors.
Cancer Treatments - MDS caused by cancer treatment is referred to as secondary myelodysplastic syndrome. The combination of potent drugs and radiation increases the risk. Chemotherapy drugs that are toxic to the bone marrow may include: mechlorethamine, procarbazine, chlorambucil, etoposide, and many more.
Cigarette Smoking - Benzene is a major component of crude oil, gasoline, and cigarette smoke. Smokers and non-smokers as well are all exposed to the danger of lifestyle-related myelodysplastic syndrome.
Benzene Exposure - This chemical has two sources: natural and industrial. Benzene is found in emissions from volcanoes and forest fires; and is largely produced by petrochemicals industries. People who inhaled, ingested, and handled benzene for an extended period of time have higher risk of getting inflicted by myelodysplastic syndrome.
For many years, benzene has been known as a harmful chemical. However, it remained widely-used in many industries and is even ranked as top 20 based on production volume in the United States. Thousands of workers in petrochemical processing plants, storage facilities, and transportation companies are exposed to the high levels of benzene everyday.