Hematology-oncology specialists at Miami Cancer Institute at Baptist Health South Florida combine advanced knowledge of myeloproliferative diseases and the latest treatment options to provide multidisciplinary, comprehensive care for these complex, rare conditions.

These diseases require a precise diagnosis for proper treatment. Hematopathologists at Miami Cancer Institute are experienced in diagnosing these disorders with a special understanding that is crucial to your care plan.

What are myeloproliferative diseases?

Myeloproliferative diseases describe a group of rare blood disorders that cause the bone marrow to produce too many blood cells.

The disorder occurs in the bone marrow – the center part of most bones where blood cells are made – but can affect other parts of the body, including the spleen, liver and cardiovascular system.

What are the types of myeloproliferative diseases?

The several types of myeloproliferative diseases are organized by whether the bone marrow makes too many white blood cells, red blood cells or platelets. In some types, too many of more than one type of blood cell are made.

The most common types of myeloproliferative diseases are:

  • Polycythemia vera. This can involve an overproduction of any type of blood cell, though it mostly affects red blood cells.
  • Primary myelofibrosis. This is caused by certain chemicals that are released when the body makes too many platelets, leading to the formation of scar tissue in the bone marrow. As scar tissue replaces normal bone marrow tissue, too few normal blood cells are made.
  • Essential thrombocythemia. This involves an overproduction of platelets.
  • Chronic neutrophilic leukemia. This involves an overproduction of white blood cells.
  • Chronic eosinophilic leukemia. This also involves an overproduction of white blood cells.

In some cases, chronic types of myeloproliferative diseases develop into acute leukemia.

What are the risk factors for myeloproliferative diseases?

Risk factors for myeloproliferative diseases include:

  • Long-term exposure to petrochemicals.
  • Long-term exposure to electrical wiring.
  • Exposure to high levels of radiation, such as a nuclear bomb.
  • What can you do to prevent myeloproliferative diseases?
  • There is no sure way to prevent myeloproliferative diseases. Avoiding the risk factors could lower your chance of developing the condition, but most people diagnosed with myeloproliferative diseases have no known risk factors.

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