Part of treating myelofibrosis will be ongoing monitoring of your treatment, symptoms and health status. Regular follow-up appointments help ensure your treatment is working and that the disease has not become resistant to the medications. You will be responsible for letting your medical team know about any symptoms that develop between appointments.
Myelofibrosis typically affects blood counts, such as too many or too few red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. The following treatments may be used to manage blood counts:
Androgens are a type of hormone therapy that promotes the development of male hormones. They may be given to improve anemia.
Blood transfusions are given for severe anemia. Blood donated by another person may be given intravenously (IV) to a patient through a vein in the arm.
Erythropoietin is a growth factor designed to stimulate bone marrow stem cells to make red blood cells, which may improve anemia. Your doctor will check your erythropoietin level before recommending this therapy.
Granulocyte colony stimulating factors and granulocyte macrophage stimulating factors are drugs that may be administered to help the body make white blood cells other than lymphocytes. White blood cells are often damaged by treatment, which can increase the risk of infection.
Phlebotomy is the removal of blood from the body through a vein in the arm. This is sometimes used to remove extra red blood cells.
Platelet transfusions may be given for a very low platelet count. Platelets donated by another person may be given intravenously to a patient through a vein in the arm.