Myelofibrosis – What it is, Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Myelofibrosis – What it is, Causes, Symptoms and Treatments of this condition. Also, myelofibrosis is a  rare disease of the bone marrow that disrupts the way the body makes blood cells. As myelofibrosis develops slowly and does not always have visible symptoms, it can be difficult and difficult to diagnose.If your primary care doctor suspects myelofibrosis , he or she will likely perform a series of tests, including a physical exam, blood  test, and imaging test. Polycythemia vera (PV) is another serious bone marrow condition , and more than 15% of people with PV will develop myelofibrosis .

Causes of Myelofibrosis: Myelofibrosis  occurs when blood stem cells develop a genetic mutation. Blood stem cells have the ability to replicate and divide into the multiple specialized cells that make up blood  – red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.

It is unclear what causes the genetic mutation in blood stem cells . As the mutable blood stem cells  replicate and divide, they mutate into the new cells. As more and more of these changeable cells are created, they begin to have serious effects on blood production .

The end result is usually a lack of red blood cells – which causes the characteristic anemia of myelofibrosis,  and an overabundance of white blood cells with varying levels of platelets. In people with myelofibrosis , the normally spongy bone marrow  becomes scarred.

Symptoms of Myelofibrosis: Myelofibrosis  usuallydevelops slowly. In its early stages, many people experience no signs or symptoms.

As the 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 the ribs on the left side, due to an enlarged spleen
  • Hemorrhages;
  • Easy greeting;
  • Excessive sweating during sleep (night sweats);
  • Fever;
  • Bone pain .

Diagnosing Myelofibrosis: The first test to be done to diagnose myelofibrosis is a blood count ( blood test) to look at the blood cell count in the body.

When noticing the changes, the doctor will order a marrow biopsy (with a needle, a small fragment of bone is removed for analysis), to obtain the result. Here, it will probably be possible to say whether or not the patient has Myelofibrosis .

In order to obtain a more accurate diagnosis, it is also possible to perform cytogenetic tests, which will evaluate the chromosomes and detect small unseen changes.

Treatments for Myelofibrosis: Treatment for myelofibrosis is aimed at controlling symptoms and reducing complications of the disease . This means that the treatment you receive for myelofibrosis will depend on the symptoms you are experiencing.

If you’re not experiencing symptoms and don’t show signs of anemia, an enlarged spleen, or other complications, treatment is usually not necessary. Instead, your doctor will monitor your health closely through regular checkups, watching for any signs of disease progression . Some people go for years without symptoms.

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