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Many workers who have been exposed to benzene unfortunately wind up with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). Mechanics, maritime workers, and journalists are just a few examples of workers who are exposed to benzene at work and thus, more susceptible to coming down with MDS.
Myelodysplastic syndrome is an umbrella term for a group of diseases that can develop when blood cells in the bone marrow become abnormal and have difficulty producing new blood cells. Bone marrow cells generate defective blood cells that die sooner than normal cells. Furthermore, the body destroys these abnormal blood cells, leaving an individual with insufficient normal blood cells. A variety of cell types can be affected, but a lack of red blood cells is the most common finding in myelodysplastic syndromes (anemia).
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Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) symptoms can include:
- Bone pain
- Easy bruising
- Numerous infections
- Loss of appetite
- Pale skin
- Breathing difficulties
- Unusual or frequent bleeding
- Losing weight without trying
- pinpoint-sized spots on your skin (Petechiae)
What Causes Myelodysplastic Syndrome?
Cell mutations that can lead to leukemia and MDS have been known to be brought on by repeated exposure to benzene-containing products like fuels, paints, degreasers, and inks. MDS may result from exposure to herbicides and pesticides. Other causes of MDS include exposure to heavy metals like lead and cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation.
Who is at Risk for Myelodysplastic Syndrome from Benzene?
Individuals who were exposed to benzene at work are at risk for MDS. Benzene can be inadvertently ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin. There are many jobs that can expose you to benzene, but some of the more well-known ones are as follows:
Diseases caused by Benzene exposure
- Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) / Myelogenous leukemia
- Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS)
- Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Aplastic anemia
Note: Benzene exposure has also been linked to childhood leukemia, specifically AML, ALL, CLL, multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Treatment Options for Myelodysplastic Syndrome
Myelodysplasia must be distinguished from other conditions that result in low blood cell counts due to its wide range of symptoms. Typically, a diagnosis of myelodysplastic syndrome requires abnormally low cell counts as well as degenerating bone marrow. There are many tests available, but the two most popular ones are chromosomal analyses of bone marrow cells and a complete blood count. Right now, the only known cure for MDS is a bone marrow transplant, although it’s a catch-22 since the MDS may weaken the body and the bone marrow transplant can only be done if someone is strong enough to endure the procedure.
Contact the Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) Lawyers of Brown, LLC
If you were diagnosed with MDS after benzene exposure, call the MDS Benzene lawyers of Brown, LLC at (877) 561-0000 or schedule a free confidential consultation, the firm is only paid if we win your case.