Benzene Injury Law

Myelodysplastic Syndrome / Myelodysplasia

What Is Myelodysplastic Syndrome?

Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), also known as myelodysplasia, refers to a group of diseases characterized by abnormal blood cells. In healthy individuals, the majority of blood cells form within their bone marrow. However, the immature blood cells in the bone marrow of MDS patients fail to fully mature into platelets or red/white blood cells as they should.

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    These types of blood cells tend to die earlier than normal cells. And to make matters worse, the body targets the abnormal cells as threats. Consequently, those with myelodysplastic syndrome suffer from a lack of normal blood cells. Although MDS impacts a variety of cell types, it commonly causes a shortage of red blood cells, a condition known as anemia.

    Additionally, myelodysplastic syndrome can be a sign of cancer developing in the body. In fact, a third of MDS cases typically develop into acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). As a result, MDS is often considered a pre-leukemia condition.

    The exact number of people living with myelodysplastic syndrome in the United States is unknown because of how difficult it can be to diagnose. Some estimates suggest that roughly 10,000 Americans suffer from MDS. Others peg the number as high as 20,000.

    Myelodysplastic syndrome, or myelodysplasia (MDS), affects many workers who endured benzene exposures. Mechanics, maritime workers, and pressmen are just some of the types of workers who are at a higher risk for MDS.

    If you suffer from MDS and have held any of these positions, call 1-800-BENZENE today. You may very well be eligible for compensation.

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    Causes of Myelodysplastic Syndrome

    Chronic benzene exposure is one of the most common risk factors for developing myelodysplastic syndrome. Benzene-containing products like fuels, paints, degreasers, and inks have been known to cause cell mutations that can result in myelodysplastic syndrome and leukemia. Similarly, exposure to herbicides and pesticides may lead to MDS.

    Exposure to cancer diveatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation has also been linked to myelodysplasia, as has exposure to heavy metals, such as lead.


    Symptoms of MDS

    In the early stages of the disease, symptoms are rare. This unfortunate fact is one of the main reasons that the disease can be difficult to diagnose. But, over time, people with MDS may notice

    • Fever
    • Fatigue
    • Dizziness
    • Shortness of breath
    • Loss of appetite
    • Weight loss
    • Bone pain

    Other symptoms of Myelodysplastic Syndrome include

    Symptom Common Cause
    Unusual paleness Low red blood cell count (anemia)
    Easy or unusual bruising/bleeding Low blood platelet count (thrombocytopenia)
    frequent or severe infections Low white blood cell count (leukopenia)
    Pinpoint sized red spots Bleeding just below the skin (petechiae)

    How is Myelodysplastic Syndrome Diagnosed?

    When doctors suspect that their patient suffers from myelodysplastic syndrome, most rely on blood and bone marrow tests to confirm a diagnosis.

    Low counts of various blood cells support an MDS diagnosis. But low blood counts are also symptoms of a variety of other disorders. So, doctors also inspect the cell’s appearance for abnormal sizes or shapes as further evidence. When the count and appearance of the tested cells suggest myelodysplasia, doctors will order bone marrow tests for confirmation.

    MDS patients are characterized by degenerating bone marrow in addition to low cell counts. Thus, doctors run chromosomal studies on these cells to identify abnormalities that support or contradict a myelodysplastic syndrome diagnosis.

    Your doctor may run additional tests to rule out other diseases or test other theories. However, blood and bone marrow tests are the most common tools for diagnosing MDS.

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    Who is at Risk for Myelodysplastic Syndrome from Benzene Exposure?

    Individuals whose professions put them in close contact with toxins run a higher risk of developing MDS. Sadly, occupational exposure to toxins is far more common than most people think. In fact, most of our myelodysplastic syndrome clients suffered benzene exposure at work.
    While jobs with benzene exposures are varied, well-documented examples include:

    Because benzene can be absorbed through the skin, inhaled, or ingested, any exposure to benzene can be dangerous. Thus, professions not commonly associated with toxins may be at risk. Even farmers have contracted myelodysplastic syndrome from benzene in the herbicides and pesticides used on their crops.

    [If you’ve been diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, reach out to us today for a free consultation. Our team of experienced attorneys can help you determine likely sources of benzene exposure in your life.

    In doing so, we may be able to help you offset the personal and medical costs of your disease. Let us help you collect the compensation you’re rightfully owed.] – banner/link to contact us page

    MDS Treatment Options

    Myelodysplastic syndromes have no known cures. Thus, the main goals of treatment are to increase blood counts and limit symptoms while preventing the disease from progressing into leukemia.

    Because there are various types of MDS, the treatment your doctor prescribes will depend on your specific diagnosis. Common treatments include

    • Blood transfusions
    • Bone marrow transplants
    • Stem cell transplants
    • Blood-cell growth factors
    • Chemotherapy

    In many cases, patients undergo a variety of treatments, both to suppress the disease and to combat the side effects of treatment.

    Don’t Suffer in Silence

    At Hughes Law Offices LLC, we focus on helping those with myelodysplastic syndrome obtain the compensation they deserve. We target the manufacturers of the benzene-containing products as well as property owners who needlessly exposed contractors to benzene.

    Generations of hard-working Americans come in contact with benzene. And these exposures can cause MDS years, even decades later. With your help, we can hold the petro-chemical conglomerates to account for their negligence and for your suffering.

    Benzene product liability and premises liability cases are complicated undertakings requiring multiple experts and distinct areas of the law. Hiring the right attorney is very important. To learn more about fact patterns, settlement values, and benzene verdict amounts, click here.

    As you focus on your recovery, let us help secure justice on your behalf. Call 1-800-BENZENE today to speak with an experienced benzene attorney.

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    Verdicts and Settlements

    Survey of Benzene

    Hughes Law Offices is providing case histories to inform visitors about actual case fact patterns and rulings.
    Unless specifically noted, the cases summarized herein were not handled by attorneys at Hughes Law Offices.
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    Helper/rigger/leadman on barges diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia via benzene exposure. Plaintiff exposed to benzene via solvents used to clean tools. Employer provided the solvents. Older versions of Liquid Wrench contained high mixtures of benzene.



    Gasoline tanker truck driver diagnosed with blood cancer following years of benzene exposure at defendant’s premises. Benzene was component of the fuel that he was loading and hauling.



    Plaintiff had a 39-year career with Sabine Towing. Throughout his career, plaintiff held various positions, including seaman, quartermaster, boatswain, third mate, second mate, chief mate and master..



    Able-bodied seaman diagnosed with kidney cancer as a result of exposure to benzene and other hydrocarbons while loading and discharging crude oil and other products, cleaning tanks and measuring tank levels.



    In his 30s at the time, decedent was a contracted tanker truck driver who regularly transported toxic products. As a result, he was regularly exposed to chemicals containing benzene.



    Plaintiff’s decedent had worked as a pump man aboard various tankers in the early 1970s and early 1980s where he was exposed to benzene. In 1994, about 15 years since his last exposure to benzene, the decedent was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML).

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