Age related risk of myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukemia among breast cancer survivors.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Breast cancer research and treatment, Volume 142, Issue 3, p.629-36 (2013)


2013, December 2013, Public Health Sciences Division


Increased incidence of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) has been identified among breast cancer (BC) survivors but measurement has not included myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). Our aim is to identify age and stage related MDS/AML incidence post BC diagnosis. We used the 2001-2009 Surveillance, Epidemiology, and end results (SEER) database to identify first primary stage I-III BC patients. Subsequent MDS or AML diagnosis was identified with observed rates compared to expected MDS/AML incidence in the general population. Age adjusted observed/expected rate ratios and 95 % confidence intervals (CI) were calculated. The unadjusted all age and stage MDS/AML incidence rate was .15 % (470/306,691) with a progressively higher rate by age (age 20-49 = .11, age 50-64 = .14, age 65+ =.21, and age 75+ =.18) and stage (stage I = .11, stage II = .18, and stage III = .22). Compared to the general population, BC patients had a 2.75-fold [95 % CI 2.51-3.00] increased relative risk of being diagnosed with MDS/AML. Young age survivors had highest relative risk [age 20-49: relative risk (RR) = 10.60 (95 % CI 8.57-12.93); age 50-64: 5.96 (95 % CI 5.13, 6.88); age 65-74 year-olds: 2.94 (95 % CI 2.45, 3.50); and age ≥75 year-olds: 1.28 (95 % CI 1.03, 1.56)]. Separately MDS relative risk was highest among young women [30.44 (95 % CI = 19.63, 44.62)]. MDS/AML relative risk increased from 1.87 to 5.66 for stage I-III. Conclusions: Myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukemia relative risk is substantially elevated among breast cancer survivors especially those aged 20-49. While the actual number is small, MDS/AML is a serious disease. More research is needed to identify the treatments that put women at risk and find less leukemogenic options, especially for young women.