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Our highly trained specialists are available 24/7 via phone and on weekdays can assist through video calls and online chat. We connect patients, caregivers, and family members with essential services and resources at every step of their cancer journey. Ask us how you can get involved and support the fight against cancer. Some of the topics we can assist with include:
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For medical questions, we encourage you to review our information with your doctor.
There is no sure way to prevent myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). But there are things you can do that might lower your risk.
Since smoking is linked to an increased risk of MDS, not smoking can lower the risk. Of course, people who don't smoke are also less likely than people who smoke to develop many other types of cancers, as well as heart disease, stroke, and other diseases.
Avoiding exposure to radiation or certain chemicals
Avoiding known cancer-causing industrial chemicals, such as benzene, might lower your risk of developing MDS.
Treating cancer with radiation and certain chemotherapy drugs can increase the risk of MDS. Doctors are studying ways to limit the risk of MDS in patients who get these treatments. For some cancers, doctors may try to avoid using the chemotherapy drugs that are more likely to lead to MDS. Some people, however, may need these specific drugs. Often, the obvious benefits of treating life-threatening cancers with chemo and radiation therapy must be balanced against the small chance of developing MDS several years later.
Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.
Komrokji RS, Padron E, List AF. Chapter 111: Myelodysplastic syndromes. In: DeVita VT, Lawrence TS, Rosenberg SA, eds. DeVita, Hellman, and Rosenberg’s Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2015.