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Myeloproliferative disorders

Related Terms

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Background

  • Myeloproliferative disorders are a group of rare illnesses that cause blood cells in the bone marrow, including red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets, to grow and develop abnormally. Bone marrow is the soft, spongy tissue found inside bones.
  • There are four major types of myeloproliferative disorders: chronic myelogenous leukemia, essential thrombocytosis, myelofibrosis, and polycythemia vera.
  • Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML): Chronic myelogenous leukemia is a cancer of the bone marrow. It occurs when the bone marrow produces abnormal granulocytes (a type of white blood cell). The white blood cells are usually produced normally at first, but they are not able to fully mature and allow new cells to replace them. Normally, white blood cells help fight against diseases and infections. In patients with CML, these white blood cells are unable to function properly. Over time, the white blood cells overcrowd healthy blood cells. Eventually, the bone marrow may become damaged and stop producing white blood cells normally. All of these factors lead to an increased risk of bleeding and developing infections. CML is considered a chronic condition because it usually progresses much slower than acute leukemia.
  • Essential thrombocytosis: Essential thrombocytosis occurs when the body produces too many platelet cells. These cells help the blood clot in order to stop bleeding. When there is too much clotting in the body, small blood vessels may become clogged. As a result of excessive clotting, blood flow is limited or completely blocked through blood vessels. Depending on where the blockage occurs, the condition may be fatal. For instance, if arteries in the heart are blocked, it may lead to a heart attack.
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Causes

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Signs and Symptoms

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Diagnosis

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Complications

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Treatment

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Integrative Therapies

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Prevention

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.