Risk of developing MDS and AML after radiation treatment for breast cancer | Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation

Risk of developing MDS and AML after radiation treatment for breast cancer

Original Publication Date: 
Friday, June 29, 2012

Note: This abstract was presented at the 2012 ASCO annual meeting in June 2012. The full abstract may be reviewed on the ASCO Annual Meeting Web site. Use the abstract number to access the full report.

Abstract # 6560

Secondary or t-MDS

It is important to recognize that, while secondary MDS (t-MDS) represents approximately 10% of MDS cases, the chance of developing MDS if you are treated for another cancer is very low - less than 1/2 of 1% (0.5%) in most cases, though the risk increases in patients who receive multiple rounds of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and also in those who undergo stem cell transplants for conditions like lymphoma. Read more about t-MDS

Radiation and chemotherapy are key components of cancer treatments and carry an increased risk of development of myelodysplasia and acute myeloid leukemia. Women with early stage breast cancer usually undergo surgery followed by radiation alone. To understand the risk of development of myelodysplasia and leukemia in women undergoing this treatment, Kaplan and colleagues analyzed a large database called the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database.The SEER database, maintained by the National Cancer Institute, works to provide information on cancer statistics in an effort to reduce the burden of cancer among the U.S. Population. It includes data about patients (but cannot be tracked back to individual patients) diagnosed with any cancer between the years 2001 and 2008 in the US.

Compared to patients without cancer, women younger than 65 years of age with early stage breast cancer carried a higher risk to develop MDS or AML.  This risk  was higher in women with stage I breast cancer (near eightfold risk) than in women with stage 0 cancer (near fourfold risk). The risk of MDS and AML increases with age and women older than 65 years carry an overall higher risk than women younger than 65 years. Radiation in the older age group only led to a small, 1.5-foldhigher risk to develop MDS or AML.

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