Myelofibrosis is a disorder of bone marrow characterized by its scarring and fibrosis. It results in impaired functioning of bone marrow. It affects the production of blood cells leading to a reduction in the number of blood cells. It develops after the age of 50 years. It is caused by genetic mutations that happen to blood cells in this age. Its other causes can exposure to radiation, chemicals, and other blood disorders. Its symptoms include fatigue, fever, body pain, and many others. Its symptoms can be managed. There is no definite treatment and prevention for this disorder.

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How To Prevent Myelofibrosis?

Myelofibrosis is caused by mutations in the genes in most cases. Such cases are known as primary myelofibrosis. In such cases, the appearance of the disease cannot be prevented. The onset of this type of myelofibrosis cannot be slowed down nor cannot be treated with modern treatment options available. Only bone marrow transplantation may cure some of the cases of primary myelofibrosis. Most of the cases arise at the age of 50 years or above, due to which they cannot be avoided to prevent this disorder.

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There is no prevention known for myelofibrosis except in cases where it is induced by exposure to industrial chemicals or radiation. It can be prevented in cases where the illness have been evolved from thrombocythemia or polycythemia vera. Exposure to industrial chemicals such as benzene or toluene can be avoided. Exposure to radiation can also be avoided. If you are at the risk of polycythemia vera or thrombocytopenia, then the risk factors should be avoided to reduce the chances of developing myelofibrosis. (2)

Therapies used to treat the diseased condition are focused on the control of anemic symptoms brought by myelofibrosis and treatment of the causative disease.

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Myelofibrosis Causes

Myelofibrosis is linked with a mutation in the genes of blood stem cells. However, there is no scientific evidence that can prove this. The mutated cells undergo continuous replication and division that transfer the mutated genes to the new blood cells. It impacts the production of healthy blood cells. It results in the fall of the number of red blood cells and other blood cells. It also results in further scarring of the bone marrow.

The risk factors of myelofibrosis are-

  • Age – it is detected above the age of 50 years
  • Other Blood Disorders- other blood disorders such as thrombocythemia or polycythemia vera may cause the disease
  • Exposure To Industrial Chemicals- constant exposure to chemicals such as toluene and benzene may induce myelofibrosis
  • Exposure To Radiation- radiation therapy done for other cancerous state or constant exposure to radiation may trigger myelofibrosis. (1)

Myelofibrosis Symptoms

The symptoms of myelofibrosis develop slowly and often are not noticed. Its symptoms appear as soon as the blood cell production is disrupted and basic functions of blood cells are impaired. These symptoms are-

  • Difficulties in breathing
  • Tiredness
  • Easy bleeding
  • Pain felt below the ribs on left side
  • High body temperature
  • Reduction in one’s appetite
  • Loss of weight
  • Pain the bone
  • Sweating in the night
  • Bleeding gums. (1)

Myelofibrosis is a bone marrow disorder that hampers the ability of bone marrow to produce blood cells. This happens due to the fibrosis or scarring of the bone marrow that does not allow it to function normally. It usually affects old people of age 60 years or above. It is of two types, one is primary and another one is secondary. Primary myelofibrosis appears by itself due to genetic mutations. Secondary myelofibrosis develops in association with other illness of bone marrow or blood.

Conclusion

Myelofibrosis cannot be prevented if it is caused by a genetic mutation in blood stem cells. But if someone is constantly exposed to industrial chemicals like benzene and toluene or radiation, then the risk of developing myelofibrosis can be prevented by avoiding them. Prevention of blood disorders like polycythemia vera and others in highly risked patients can prevent myelofibrosis.

References

  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/myelofibrosis
  2. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15672-myelofibrosis/prevention

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: May 13, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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