MYELOFIBROSIS (MF) SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

What Are Common Myelofibrosis Symptoms?

In addition to the symptoms caused by an enlarged spleen, myelofibrosis can affect the body in other ways. The table below lists common symptoms of myelofibrosis. Remember, you may have some of these symptoms but not others, as myelofibrosis is different for everyone.

MYELOFIBROSIS SYMPTOM
CAUSE OF SYMPTOM
  • Itching
  • Night sweats
  • Fever
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Bone pain
Inflammation caused by high levels of certain proteins (cytokines) in the blood
  • Fatigue
  • Bruising or bleeding easily
Having too few red blood cells or platelets

Myelofibrosis Symptoms May Vary

The more common symptoms of myelofibrosis, 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 symptoms you notice, even if you do not think they are related to myelofibrosis.

Since myelofibrosis can progress over time, it is also important to talk with your Healthcare Professional early on about your symptoms and how they affect your life. Let the Healthcare Professional know if there are activities you used to enjoy that you are no longer able to do.

Common Findings in Myelofibrosis

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 myelofibrosis. The medical term for an enlarged spleen is splenomegaly (splee-nuh-MEG-uh-lee).

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
  • Decreased activity or inactivity

It is important to tell your Healthcare Professional if you have any of these symptoms.

The table below lists common findings in myelofibrosis.

COMMON FINDINGS IN MYELOFIBROSIS
HOW YOUR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL IDENTIFIES THE FINDING
  • Enlarged spleen
Usually noticed by feeling the abdomen; can also be seen through procedures such as ultrasound, computed tomography, or MRI
  • Gene mutations: changes in genes associated with myelofibrosis
Blood tests
  • Scar-like tissue in the bone marrow (also called "fibrosis")
Bone marrow biopsy takes a sample of your bone marrow with a needle
  • 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

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 myelofibrosis (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.

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