Myelofibrosis is a type of blood cancer that impairs the functioning of the bone marrow. The bone marrow produces stem cells that are responsible for the synthesis of red blood cells, white blood cells and blood platelets.
Myelofibrosis may lead to conditions such as increased or decreased the production of blood cells such as polycythemia vera, thrombocytopenia, and primary myelofibrosis. Together, these conditions are known as Philadelphia-chromosome-negative chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms.
The increased or decreased production of blood cells leads to either one or more comorbid conditions such as anemia, enlarged spleen, and liver impairment.
Myelofibrosis occurs among all age groups, but a considerable number of cases are observed in people above 50 years of age. A higher number of cases are also reported in children, with maximum cases reported in the female population.
The symptoms of myelofibrosis are not observed in the early onset of the disease. However, the symptoms tend to progressively develop over a period of time. The location of the tumor and the type of blood cell determines the severity of the condition.
The common symptoms of myelofibrosis include:
The exact cause of myelofibrosis is not known but it may occur due to gene mutation of the stem cells. The stem cells are responsible for the production and replication of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.
A mutation in the stem cells leads to a rapid multiplication of the blood cells that cause overcrowding of the blood cells in the bone marrow. This leads to altered levels of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.
A specific type of gene known as Janus kinase-2 (JAK-2) gene is responsible for myelofibrosis disorder.
The risk of developing myelofibrosis may increase with the following conditions:
The complications that develop with myelofibrosis include:
Myelofibrosis is diagnosed by monitoring the following parameters:
Myelofibrosis can be treated by the following treatment procedures:
The effective use of medications and other treatment options helps in the proper management of myelofibrosis.
Support from family and friends are essential to prevent the risk of getting depressed as the treatment requires a frequent hospital visit and longer duration of hospital stay.
Practicing yoga, meditation, and regular exercise helps in coping with the condition and also helps in better response rate.
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