When symptoms of Myelodysplastic Syndrome appear, they are usually subtle. MDS may remain stable for several years, or it may get worse quickly and progress to acute myeloid leukemia.
The most common symptoms are:
- Signs of anemia, such as weakness, tiredness, headaches, heart palpitations and dizziness
- Low platelet counts cause easy and profuse bleeding, as well as unexplained bruising
- Women may experience heavy menstrual periods
- Susceptibility to infection due to low number of white blood cells
Causes and Risk Factors
MDS may begin without any apparent cause.
Possible risk factors include:
- Exposure to certain chemicals, such as pesticides
- Exposure to chemotherapy or non-chemotherapy drugs and radiation
- Age may also be a factor since MDS is most commonly diagnosed in people 60 and older