Mastocytosis: Risk Factors

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 05/2015

ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about the factors that increase the chance of developing this condition. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

A risk factor is anything that increases a person’s chance of developing a disease. Although risk factors often influence the development of mastocytosis, most do not directly cause the condition. Some people with several risk factors never develop mastocytosis, while others with no known risk factors do. However, knowing your risk factors and talking about them with your doctor may help you make more informed lifestyle and health care choices.

The following factors may raise a person’s risk of developing mastocytosis:

  • Age. Most often, cutaneous mastocytosis begins during infancy and early childhood. The risk of developing systemic mastocytosis increases with age.

  • c-kit receptor mutation. The c-kit receptor is a protein on the surface of some cells that binds to a substance that causes them to grow. Changed or mutated forms of the c-kit gene may cause some types of mastocytosis, including systemic mastocytosis.

The next section in this guide is Symptoms and Signs, and it explains what body changes or medical problems this condition can cause. Or, use the menu on the side of your screen to choose another section to continue reading this guide.