What Are Common MF Symptoms?
In addition to the symptoms caused by an enlarged spleen, myelofibrosis (MF) can affect the body in other ways. The table below lists common symptoms. Remember, you may have some of these symptoms but not others, as this condition is different for everyone.
Are there activities that you were able to do 3 months ago that you struggle with now?
How much does your inactivity influence your day-to-day activities?
Do you experience sweating, particularly at night or in the evenings? How often did this happen in the past month?
When you shower, do you ever feel itchy afterwards? How often?
Have you felt any deep achiness throughout your body that causes you to limit your activities?
Are you losing weight, and if so, how much weight have you lost over the last 6 months?
How often have you had a fever of >100 degrees Fahrenheit?
Inflammation caused by high levels of certain proteins (cytokines) in the blood
How often have you felt memory lapses, inability to pay attention for long periods, or having problems concentrating?
Having too many red blood cells (hyperviscosity)
Do you have abdominal discomfort, particularly after eating?
Do you feel full quickly after meals?
Enlarged spleen (splenomegaly)
According to the MPN Landmark Survey,* 81% of patients with MF reported that their symptoms reduced their quality of life.
*The MPN Landmark Survey was a web-based questionnaire, sponsored by Incyte, intended to help evaluate the patient disease burden in the MPN setting. A total of 813 patients in the US diagnosed with MF, PV, or ET completed the survey (207 with MF; 380 with PV; and 226 with ET).
Can MF Symptoms Vary or Change Over Time?
The more common symptoms of MF, such as tiredness (fatigue), itching, and night sweats, may come and go, or they may be more severe at certain times. Be sure to tell your Healthcare Professional about any and all symptoms you notice, even if you do not think they are related to MF.
Since MF can progress over time, it is important to advocate for your own care by speaking up and spelling out how your MF symptoms affect you. Talk with your Healthcare Professional early on about your MF symptoms and how they affect your daily routines, activity levels, and overall quality of life. Let your Healthcare Professional know if there are activities you used to enjoy that you are no longer able to do.
Why Is Spleen Size Important in MF?
When the bone marrow cannot make enough normal blood cells, the spleen begins to make them. This causes the spleen to grow larger. An enlarged spleen is a common finding in MF. The medical term for an enlarged spleen is splenomegaly (splee-nuh-MEG-uh-lee).
What Are the Symptoms of an Enlarged Spleen?
Symptoms of an enlarged spleen can include
- Pain or discomfort in the abdomen or under the left ribs
- Feeling full when you haven’t eaten or have eaten very little
It is important to tell your Healthcare Professional if you have any of these symptoms.
What Are Common Findings in MF?
The table below lists common findings in MF.
COMMON FINDINGS IN MYELOFIBROSIS
HOW YOUR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL IDENTIFIES THE FINDING
Change in the form and number of white blood cells (WBCs), red blood cells (RBCs), and platelets
Blood is studied under a microscope to look at the shape of the blood cells and to see if abnormal blood cells are present. A complete blood count (CBC) and platelet count can be conducted to determine the number of various blood cells
What Should People With MF Know About Anemia?
With MF, scar tissue can build up in the bone marrow, preventing it from making enough red blood cells, resulting in anemia. Anemia is common in people living with MF. Anemia can be associated with certain symptoms that are important to monitor. If you’re experiencing anemia, be sure to discuss it with your Healthcare Professional.
Why Is Tracking MF Symptoms Important?
Because MF is a progressive condition, it has the potential to change over time. That means that some of the signs and symptoms may change as well. This is why it’s important to take an active role in monitoring your condition over time by tracking your MF on a regular basis—and sharing any changes with your Healthcare Professional.
Regular symptom tracking provides a number of valuable insights. Not only does it help identify trends within your health, but it can also help you and your Healthcare Professional better understand how to manage and adjust your care over time.
It is important to keep track of any symptoms you have, even if you are not sure they are related to your MF. Don’t assume that any symptom is too minor or not worth recording. Tracking and talking to your Healthcare Professional about your symptoms helps you both:
- Understand how MF is affecting you
- Follow how your MF is changing over time
- Discuss options for managing your MF and its symptoms
Remember, these insights will help your Healthcare Professional understand what’s happening with your condition over time—and that can help ensure that your MF management approach is the right one for you.