Diagnosing Myelofibrosis

Most often, people diagnosed with myelofibrosis do not have obvious symptoms. MF may be suspected when an enlarged spleen or an abnormal blood count is noted upon a routine checkup. At that point, your general practitioner will likely refer you to a hematologist/oncologist (a doctor who specializes in blood cancers). 

A combination of tests that examine the blood and bone marrow will be used to determine the course of treatment. In addition to a physical exam and history, the following diagnostic tests may be used:
  • A complete blood count: a blood test that measures the concentration of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets in the blood 
  • Ultrasound: uses high-frequency sound waves to look at organs and structures inside the body
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): a scan that uses magnets and radio frequency waves to produce images of the inside of the body  
  • Bone Marrow Examination: removal of a small amount of your bone and bone marrow to study the genetic components 
  • Genetic tests: analysis of a simple of your blood or bone marrow tissue to study the genetic make-up.

Once you have been diagnosed with MF your hematologist/oncologist will coordinate your treatment plan, so it is important that you find someone in this field that you feel comfortable working with.

Click here for some questions to ask when you are looking for an experienced doctor. 

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