Patients with myelodysplasia or myelodysplastic syndrome and a very low World Health Organization classification-based prognostic scoring system, or WPSS, risk group have a median survival of 12 years after diagnosis, according to the American Cancer Society. With a very high risk group, the median survival lowers to 9 months.
While the life expectancy after diagnosis is relatively short for most patients with myelodysplastic syndrome, most patients are diagnosed in their 60s, according to Mayo Clinic. Therefore, a patient diagnosed at age 62 with a 12-year life expectancy is likely to live a full life, as many patients do. In addition to age, risk factors include prior cancer treatment and exposure to heavy metals or chemicals.