What is it?

Myelofibrosis is an uncommon type of bone marrow cancer that disrupts your body's normal production of blood cells.
Myelofibrosis causes extensive scarring in your bone marrow, leading to severe anemia that can cause weakness and fatigue. Bone marrow scarring can also cause you to have a low number of blood-clotting cells called platelets, which increases the risk of bleeding. Myelofibrosis often causes an enlarged spleen.
Myelofibrosis is considered to be a chronic leukemia - a cancer that affects the blood-forming tissues in the body. Myelofibrosis belongs to a group of diseases called myeloproliferative disorders

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Signs & symptoms

Myelofibrosis usually develops slowly. In its very early stages, many people don't experience signs or symptoms. As disruption of normal blood cell production increases, signs and symptoms may include:
* Feeling tired, weak or short of breath, usually because of anemia
* Pain or fullness below your ribs on the left side, due to an enlarged spleen
* Easy bruising
* Easy bleeding
* Excessive sweating during sleep (night sweats)
* Fever
* Bone pain


Tests and procedures used to diagnose myelofibrosis include:
* Physical exam- Your doctor will perform a physical exam. This includes a check of vital signs, such as pulse and blood pressure, as well as checks of your lymph nodes, spleen and abdomen.
* Blood tests- In myelofibrosis, a complete blood count typically shows abnormally low levels of red blood cells, a sign of anemia common in people with myelofibrosis. White blood cell and platelet counts are usually abnormal, too. Often, white blood cell levels are higher than normal, although in some people they may be normal or even lower than normal. Platelet counts may be higher or lower than normal.
* Imaging tests- Imaging tests, such as X-rays and MRI, may be used to gather more information about your myelofibrosis.
* Bone marrow examination- Bone marrow biopsy and aspiration can confirm a diagnosis of myelofibrosis.
In a bone marrow biopsy, a needle is used to draw a sample of bone tissue and the enclosed marrow from your hipbone. During the same procedure, another type of needle may be used to withdraw a sample of the liquid portion of your bone marrow. The samples are studied in a laboratory to determine the numbers and types of cells found.
* Testing cancer cells for gene mutations. In a laboratory, doctors will analyze your blood or bone marrow cells for gene mutations, such as JAK2, CALR and MPL. Your doctor uses the information from these tests to determine your prognosis and your treatment options.


The goal of treatment for most people with myelofibrosis is to provide relief from signs and symptoms of the disease. For some, a bone marrow transplant may provide a chance for a cure, but this treatment is very hard on the body and it might not be an option for many people.

In order to determine which myelofibrosis treatments are most likely to benefit you, your doctor may use one or more formulas to assess your condition. These formulas take into account many aspects of your cancer and your overall health to assign a risk category that indicates the aggressiveness of the disease.

Low-risk myelofibrosis may not require immediate treatment, while people with high-risk myelofibrosis may consider an aggressive treatment, such as bone marrow transplant. For intermediate-risk myelofibrosis, treatment is usually directed at managing symptoms

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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